Bee Roots for 2021-08-16

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
1ERun away to marry
1E“Afterword” section of a book, nontraditional spelling (missing –ue)
1G(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
1GSilly laugh; verb/noun
1GMale escort; Richard Gere “American...” film
1GFish breathing organ
1GDelight, choir (, or TV show about a HS choir
2GSticky and amorphous substance, typically something unpleasant (2 spellings)
1GEye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
1GPopular web search site
1GLarge number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
1HBack of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HSatan’s domain
1HSatan’s pit; an oppressive or unbearable place; compound noun
1HPhone greeting
1HAssist, verb; or assistance, noun (F1 key on a computer, often)
1HWhat Jack & Jill went up
1HGolf ball target (get a…-in-one)
1IIce house
1LFeudal superior (“Yes, my…”)
1LFat-sucking procedure, abbr.
1LTheater section behind orchestra
1LCompany graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
1LWord lover, pangram, from Greek
1LHang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LSucking candy on a stick
1LMove in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds
1LClosed curve
1LAmbiguity or inadequacy in the law; compound noun
1LRun like a wolf, with bounding strides
1OEye amorously
1OMixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1OSkateboard jump, or Stan’s slapstick partner
1PSkin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
1PA way to find out who's knocking at the door; compound noun
1PHumanity, or celeb mag with annual “sexiest man”
1PRude term for mouth (“shut your…”), abyss where you shove this pecan tart
1PHeap, stack (dirty laundry, raked leaves, etc.), noun/verb
1PTablet of medicine
1PBallét bénd
1PSound of Alka–Seltzer before the fizz
1PWhat a firefighter slides down
1PDisease that put FDR in a wheelchair
1POpinion survey, homophone of above (straw, Gallup, e.g.)
1PCroquet on horseback
1PSwimming venue

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.