Bee Roots for 2021-08-01

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. There may be some startup problems, but long term I think I can put the clues together with no more than half an hour's work.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. This is similar to what Kevin Davis does, but without information about parts of speech 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.

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

Many thanks to Kevin Davis, whose 4,500-word clue list made this possible.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle

1African wattle tree sap used for emulsifier gum
1Trendy smoothie berry
1Enthusiastic public praise
1Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
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
1A supply of bullets, slang abbr.
1Abbr. for …nitrite "poppers" you sniff at a rave; or C₅H₁₁ on its own
1Bean source of Hershey Bars
1Rough cotton fabric, or colorful cat
1Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
1Arum plant referred to as a lily
1Caribbean veg dish
2Tranquil (mood, wind, “the…before the storm”)
1♀ sleeveless undergarment top, slang abbr.
1Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1“Hi” or “Bye” in Italian (“…bella”)
1Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
1Assert, an assertion, or a request (…asylum, baggage…)
2“Happy as a...” bivalve shellfish
1Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
1Combo sex & waste cavity in non-mammals
1“Dirty fuel” dug from mines; what Santa puts in your stocking if you’re bad
11st part of popular soda brand name
1Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1Pepsi & RC dark brown soda flavor
1Prolonged unconscious state
2Paid jokester, or “” with superheroes
1Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
3Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
1Hip bone
1Prayer leader at mosque
1Frilly; adj. for cuff, collar, & sexy underwear fabric
2Non-cleric + non-clerical
1Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai...)
1Purple flower or shade
1Peru capital, or bean
1S Am camel
2Fertile, sandy soil
2From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
2Faithful, devoted
1Letters you get or send
1Permanently injure
1Sour-tasting acid, or apple adj. (from Latin)
1Shopping mecca
3♀ parent, slang
1Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1Flaky rock that breaks off in sheets
1$, slang (from Fiji)