Bee Roots for 2021-08-14

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
1AGet a top grade on a test
1ATeen facial zits
1ASouth American snake that can grow very large
1CBean source of Hershey Bars
1CRhythmic pattern; sequence of chords in music
2CGet something without paying for it (slang)
4CBarred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
1CCylindrical metal container; fire from a job (slang)
1CLeggy French dance
2CWalking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
1CTropical “lily”
2CWheeled artillery
2CNarrow boat with pointed ends, propelled by paddling, noun/verb
1CNikon rival (similar to above weapon), or accepted (Church) lore, noun
6CGive up (power or territory)
1C1st part of popular soda brand name
1CHot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
2CNest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
1CConcluding event, remark, or section, especially in music
6CWrite a computer program, or cipher a message to hide it
1CSequence of 3 nucleotides in DNA
1C♀ student, or mixed ♂ & ♀ school, slang abbr.
1CHigh-quality brandy from western France
1CSwindle, verb; someone serving a prison sentence (noun, slang)
1CSelf-owned apartment with an HOA, slang abbr.
2CAccept or allow misbehavior to continue (“We don’t…this behavior”)
2CIce cream holder shape
2CLatin American dance of African origin, usually with several people in a single line, one behind the other; tall drum played with hands
1CMade a pigeon sound, or talked amorously
1DType of freshwater fish, including redside, northern pearl, and longnose
2DMove rhythmically to music, verb/noun
1DOrdained minister of an order ranking below that of priest; lay officer of a church, especially one involved in service
1DSpan of ten years
1DMoral or cultural decline, luxurious self-indulgence
1DTen-sided geometric figure
1DChrysler Bldg. style (Art…)
1DTwenty-sided geometric figure
1NPerson with non-traditional right-wing political views, slang abbr.
1NLiterary word meaning “for the [time being]”
1OEnormous body of salt water
1OA single time (they deliver…a week)

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.