Bee Roots for 2021-08-20

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
2AGet used to a new situation, or modify for new use
1ALegally take responsibility for someone else's child; choose to take up, follow, or use
1APassion (Latin “to burn”)
1AInvertebrate animal, such as an insect, spider, or crustacean
1DSpike thrown at a board
1DFacts & stats, computer info, or Star Trek Next Gen android
1DExtinct bird; or idiot, slang
1DThingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
1DRoom or bldg. entrance
1D“Old & feeble” insult used by N Korea about our former pres.
1DThird person singular present of do (archaic)
1DMild exclamation of annoyance used by cartoon villains, anagram of spike thrown at board
1DSag, or hang limply
1DLet fall, verb; or a tiny amount of liquid, noun
1HNoggin covering worn by construction workers (compound)
1HMotor vehicle with a rigid roof (compound)
1HAmass (money or valued objects) and hide or store away, verb/noun
1H“Little Red Riding…” noggin covering
1HColumn of weathered rocks, or black magic; rhyming word
1HCar, usually American, that has been modified for more speed or acceleration, often by replacing the engine (compound)
1OBad smell (body...)
1PGovernment-owned hotel in Spain
1PRelease people or supplies from a plane by ‘chute
1PPoke, nudge, or spur (reluctant person or cattle)
1RNickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RStreet ("Abbey..."), or “rocky...” ice cream flavor
1RLarge crucifix above altar, anagram of bldg. entrance
1TFrog cousin
1THinged panel in a floor, ceiling, or roof (compound)
1TStep on; snake flag motto "Don't ... on me"

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.