Bee Roots for 2021-08-05

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

2Put (fears) at rest
1Narrow passageway between buildings. (…cat, …-oop)
1Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
2Examine the elements or structure of something
1Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body
1Papa (...long legs, sugar...)
1Move slowly, or have casual sex with
1Fop, or foppish (“Yankee Doodle…” Cagney film)
1Stunned confusion (in a…)
1Not alive
1Expert marksman, or disc with holes for sailboat lines
2Make something late (flight…, rain…)
1Refuse to give, grant or admit
1Something that consists of 2 parts, from Greek (Kylo Ren & Rey, e.g.)
1Substance used to change the color of something
1Unit of force in physics: 1 g / sec.²
1Water swirl, NOT clothier Bauer
1Snake-like fish
1Organ of vision
1“Gentleman” or "Lord" ♀ counterpart ("& the Tramp")
1♀ who owns your apartment
1unwilling to work or use energy
1Guide your group from the front; be ahead in a game; dull gray metal
1Not fatty (…meat), adj.; or incline (…back in your chair)
1♀ goat, or nursemaid
1Require; verb/noun
2Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel…”)
1Basic monetary unit of Japan; longing; noun/verb
1Amusingly unconventional