Bee Roots for 2024-06-01

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: N/DEFGLU
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 272
  • Pangrams: 2

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
2DE6,8Resist an attack or protect from harm
1DE6Debilitating viral disease of the tropics, transmitted by mosquitoes, and causing sudden fever and acute pains in the joints, also known as breakbone fever.
2DE6,8A pool of $ (mutual, reserve…), noun; or provide $ for a particular purpose
2DE6,7Unclothed (in the …), adj.
1DU6Make persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
1DU4A mound of sand (… buggy), or Herbert desert planet book series & films
1DU4Animal manure
1EN5Final part of something, especially a period of time, an activity, or a story, noun/verb
2EN5,6Provide with a quality or ability
2EN6,8Overwhelm (think body of water—the … of Mexico) (the building was … in flames)
2FE4,6Look after & provide for oneself, without any help from others
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FL5Throw forcefully (monkeys often … poop at spectators)
2FU4,6A pool of $ (mutual, reserve…), noun; or provide $ for a particular purpose
2FU6,8Pouring tool that’s wide at top & narrow at bottom, noun; or guide something through something else
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GL4Narrow valley, or Eagles singer Frey
1GU6Lethal weapon that shoots bullets; slang term for someone who uses it (hired …), noun/verb
1LE6Mythical story “(Sleepy Hollow,” e.g.), or singer John married to Chrissy Teigen
1LE4Allow someone to borrow from you (“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, … me your ears”)
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
2LU4,7Breathing organ
2LU5,6Thrust the body forward suddenly
3NE4,6,7Require; verb/noun
2NE6,7Tool to sew, noun; or goad, verb
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NU4Unclothed (in the …), adj.
2NU5,6Prod gently, verb/noun
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1UN10Resist an attack or protect from harm
1UN5Expected at or planned for at a certain time; what is owed
1UN9(Of a young bird) having wing feathers that are large enough to fly with
1UN8A pool of $ (mutual, reserve…), noun; or provide $ for a particular purpose
2UN6,7Adhesive substance; noun/verb
1UN8Require; verb/noun
1UN5Malnourished expressed as a negative; ends in past tense of list word; adj.

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout