Bee Roots for 2024-06-13

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/GHILTY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 297
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: ClassicStock/Getty Images via

Table content

answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1GI7Live performance by or engagement for a musician or group, especially playing pop or jazz; noun/verb
1GI8Silly laugh; verb/noun
1GI7Fish breathing organ
1GI7Clear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; or card game, noun/verb; or device for separating cotton seeds from fibers, noun/verb
2GL5,8Give out or reflect small flashes of light, verb/noun
1HI12Mark text with a yellow pen, verb; or a memorable event (her visit was the … of my day), compound noun/verb
1HI7What Jack & Jill went up
1HI7Door fastener to frame that lets it swing open & closed, noun/verb
1HI5♂ horse/♀ donkey hybrid
2HI4,7Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
1HI7Strike with a hand, tool, or weapon, verb/noun; popular song or movie
1IG8Catch fire, or cause to do so
1IN6A baseball game is divided into 9 of these
1LI8Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1LI9It precedes thunder
1LI7Singsong accent
1LI6A queue, what you wait in for your turn
2LI4,5Dryer fluff
1LY5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
1NI8Cause slight but persistent annoyance or worry (a …ing suspicion or doubt)
1NI4Near, archaic (“Repent, the end is …!”)
2NI5,7Opposite of day, adj. form is a pangram
1NI10What you use when you don’t want to sleep in the dark, compound
2NI5,7Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI5Foolish or silly person
3TH4,6,8Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
2TH5,6Unnamed object, noun (person, place, or …)
1TI6Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
1TI7Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI7Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI5Silvery-white metal, atomic number 50 (Cat on a Hot … Roof)
1TI7Color slightly (…ed with pink), verb/noun
2TI6,8Slight prickling or stinging sensation, noun/verb
2TI4,7Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
2TI4,6Very small, adj., “Christmas Carol” kid
1TI7Give 10% of your income to the Church
1TY5Fasten with string or cord, verb/noun

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