Bee Roots for 2021-07-30

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It exists to make it easier for Kevin Davis to take a day off. Most of the clues come from him. After a getting-up-to-speed period, I think I can put the clues together with up to half an hour's work.

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!). So the clues will cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from that 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.

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 Tweet to @donswartwout

Today's puzzle

1Extreme pain
1Put (fears) at rest
1Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
1Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
1Comparison (life is like a box of chocolates)
1Irritate, vex, irk
1Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body
1Acknowledgement of regret (I owe him an…for my insult)
1Submit your résumé (to a college or job), or be relevant (terms & conditions may…)
1Said of a person who is tall, thin, and awkward
1Homosexual (used especially of a man); lighthearted and carefree (dated)
2Sticky and amorphous substance, typically something unpleasant (2 spellings)
1Eye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
1Informal exclamation of surprise (part of Little Richard song title “Good…, Miss M…”)
1Unfocused or rolling eyes, adj.; or cricket bowling variation
1Black-footed albatross
1Gwyneth Paltrow’s brand, or unpleasant messy gel
1Fall behind; verb/noun
1Sluggish, adj., or “study of” suffix
2Dawdle, slang (ends in “mouth covering” synonym)
1“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1Closed curve
2Faithful, devoted
1Annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
1♀ goat, or nursemaid
1Synthetic stocking fabric
1Pre-molded tooth restoration that covers chewing surface
1Sole, nothing more (“I’m…human!”)
1Splendid display; complete or impressive collection of things
1Pontiff adj.
1Tropical fruit with black seeds
1Slang term for father or grandfather
1Bribe paid to a radio DJ to air a particular song
1Staged drama, or what kids do at recess
1Cunning ruse
2Geometric figure with an unspecified number of sides
1Small growth on a stalk (in your colon, e.g.)
1Yankee Doodle went riding into town on this small horse breed
1Flower used to make opium or honor veterans
1Traffic cone or endzone marker
1Representing heaven, positivity, masculinity, and activity (Chinese philosopy)
1Sharp, shrill bark; slang term for a person's mouth; Pacific island with giant coins
1Bendy, meditative exercise on mats