Bee Roots for 2021-08-09

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. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle

Table content

wordsroot 1st letterclue
3ADo something
1AInsurance risk analyst
1ACause a machine to start up, or motivate a person
1AMain blood pipe from heart
1ACreative activity: painting, music, literature, dance, etc
1AFlower oil for perfume
2AEntice, lure, or evoke (…attention; opposites…), verb
1ACar, abbr., or “self” prefix
2ADictator with absolute power
1CUnit of weight for gems, NOT bunny food
1COrange veg that bunnies eat
1CPrepared food you take home
1CShopping trolley you push
1CFurry pet that purrs
1CEye cloudiness, or waterfall
1COutdoor jacket (trench-...)
1CFoolish old ♂, or water bird
1CWhere trials are held
1CKeeper or custodian of a collection
1CRudely brief, adj.
1CCardboard person (how you make one), or spy intermediary
1OGrain that is Quaker's specialty
2OMake a speech
1OStrong public disapproval or anger
1OClosing show music (antonym begins with IN–)
1RSewer-dwelling rodent
1RMachine gun sound
1RPlant anchor that sucks up water
1RPhone with dial, adj., or int’l service org (..Club)
2RMove in a circle around an axis or center
1RDevice or blade that spins
1RDisorderly retreat, or decisive defeat
1RLong deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles
1TMexican filled tortilla, or “...Bell” restaurant
1TDiplomacy, sensitivity
1TDark, thick, flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal
1TAsian veg that sounds like next word
1TFortunetelling cards
1TOpen filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
1TFish sauce, or tooth buildup
1TSkin “ink”
1TWorn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
1TNot slack, as a rope, adj.
1TVirtuoso musical piece (Bach’s “...& Fugue in D Minor”)
1TShort horn sound; noun/verb
1TBull, Spanish
1TLegal wrong, NOT pastry
1TTake a guided one of these in a foreign city (on a ...bus?)
1TPromote, or offer horse racing tips
1TLarge land area, or body passage (“digestive…”)
1TFarm vehicle for towing
1TUse it to carry drinks
1TFast walking pace for horses or people
1TCommon game fish (rainbow…, e.g.)
1THelen of “The Iliad” home, or oz. for gold & gems
1TAudition, test for someone hoping to join a team
1TPrivate instructor
1TBallet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1TNewbie, from Latin “recruit”
1YCircular tent of felt or skins

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.