Bee Roots for 2021-08-18

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
1CYo-Yo Ma’s instrument
1CIdentical (genetic) copy, or make one, noun/verb
1CSpherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CNest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
1CWind up spirally, or Hamlet’s “mortal ...”
1CMetal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase
1CBaby or horse upset tummy
1CIrish term for a young ♀
1C“Lassie” dog breed
2C: (punctuation mark), or intestine
1CMilitary rank between major & general (Hogan & Klink, e.g.)
2CIce cream holder shape
1C“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
2ISymbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.), noun + adj. (2 words)
1IAtom or molecule with a net electric charge
1LLike a roaring “King” animal
1LA vocabulary or dictionary
1LRoaring “...King” animal that travels in a pride
1LCrazy, Spanish
1LA particular point or place
1LSex organ region of body (fruit of my…s); anagram of “…King” animal
1LHang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LSolitary (...wolf, e.g.), adj.
2L“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NPerson with non-traditional right-wing political views, slang abbr.
1NAtomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NXmas time, or playwright Coward
1NLiterary word meaning “for the [time being]”
1NQuantity of zero; “all” antonym
1N1 followed 30 zeroes; Latin 9 prefix
1N12:00, midday, 🕛
1OOil adj. (…acid), from Latin for oil
1OMixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1OSkateboard jump, or Stan’s slapstick partner
1OA single time (they deliver…a week)
1OVeg that makes you cry when cut
1OHooked up to the internet, adj.
1OCastrated bulls yoked for plowing
1XAtomic number 54, gas used in headlights

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.