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Introducing Spelling Bee Buddy: Your Personalized Daily Bee Helper

Sep 23, 2023


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It will offer customized hints, but only if you want them.

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By The Upshot Staff

The Upshot has been building internet creations like Bee Buddy, WordleBot and dialect quizzes since 2014.

Spelling Bee Buddy is a new interactive tool for Spelling Bee players that provides real-time personalized hints and analysis based on your progress throughout the day.

Its hints are specific to your play that day. For example, if you’ve found most of the words that begin with "C," it may suggest you start focusing on words that start with "D." Or it may help you think of words that share similar word stems, prefixes or suffixes.

It has a live grid — a visual element that should be familiar to frequent Spelling Bee players — that shows all of your remaining words by letter and length. It also shows the percentage of readers who have found each word (without spoilers) so that you can compare the words you’ve found with those of other players, possibly helping you think of a common word you overlooked or celebrate a word that few others have found.

Finally, the tool incorporates selected clues from Spelling Bee Forum commenters, building on a community-created tradition to help players find those last few words.

Play Spelling Bee, then visit Spelling Bee Buddy throughout the day to get its latest hints. Spelling Bee Buddy updates at 3 a.m. Eastern with the release of the latest puzzle. You’ll need to log in for the page to have access to your progress and show personalized hints, though you can also see generic hints each day without logging in.

Among our test users, we’ve noticed some people enjoy having Spelling Bee Buddy open in another tab on their device, and switching between the game and the buddy as needed. Some prefer to keep Spelling Bee Buddy open in a different window or device, so that it's always visible.

Spelling Bee Buddy is available on and in the New York Times iOS and Android apps, and you can search for it in those places if you don't see it. You can also find it at If you’re enjoying it and want to use it regularly, you can bookmark it or add it to your home screen.

Spelling Bee Buddy will never reveal words you haven't found. Players are sure to have different preferences for if and when they may want hints, but Spelling Bee Buddy is designed to show you only the hints you want. The hints on the page are generally arranged from least specific at the top to most specific at the bottom, so you can stop scrolling once you’ve found what you want. You must click to see the most specific hints, like a reader clue for a given word.

We saw that players enjoyed (and enjoyed arguing with!) WordleBot, and found that having an interactive companion helped them learn and think more deeply about their play. In the same spirit, we’re excited to bring this tool to Spelling Bee fans. Because Spelling Bee is a different, more open-ended game than Wordle, this companion bot is more focused on helping you learn as you play than it is on evaluating a finished game. For less experienced Spelling Bee players, the tool is also designed to help you apply the advice from our Spelling Bee Tips and Tricks article in real time for each day's puzzle, although it can be helpful to players at all levels.

We will choose clues from among the comments posted in the Forum at about 8 a.m. Eastern each day, and publish them around 9 a.m. Eastern. For each word in the puzzle, we will select one commenter's clue, crediting that person and linking back to the original comment. We aim to include clues from a variety of commenters; clues must also be clear, useful and tasteful. Because commenters live in many time zones, any clue posted by 8 a.m. Eastern will be considered equally — no need to rush. If you are interested in submitting clues for consideration, you’re welcome to post them in that day's Forum comments. (If you’re new to clue writing, you can use this format to get started.)

No. Spelling Bee Buddy is a new and optional experience for players who are interested, and it doesn't change anything about Spelling Bee or Spelling Bee Forum. For example, while we’re including selected reader clues from commenters, commenting will continue as it does now in the Forum. Anyone can submit and read comments, and can include hints in their comments.

If you have ideas for improving Spelling Bee Buddy, we welcome them in the comments of this article.

Spelling Bee Buddy was created by Neil Berg, Matthew Conlen, Josh Katz, Aaron Krolik, Eve Washington and Eden Weingart.


Send any friend a story 10 gift articles What is Spelling Bee Buddy? How do I use it? Where can I find it? Are there spoilers? Why did you make it? How and when do you choose reader clues each day? Can I participate? Does this change anything about Spelling Bee or Spelling Bee Forum? How can I leave suggestions?