Bee Roots for 2021-08-21

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
1CCylindrical metal container, noun; be capable, verb, fire from a job (slang verb);
1CPrison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
2CWhere rain comes from, noun/verb
2CHint, or what a detective seeks (Get a…!), noun/verb
2CCooperate in a secret or unlawful way
2CFinish something; arrive at a judgement by reasoning
1CDeep ravine, or lava flow; from French “to flow” (Grand…Dam in WA)
2CHold close for affection
1CSomething that signals an actor or other performer, noun/verb
2CRemove unwanted from the herd
2DDraw a logical conclusion
2DBelieve true even when you know better
2DPublicly declare to be wrong or evil, inform against someone
1DA playing card with the number 2 on it (the…of spades), noun
2DPerform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
2DSlang for “guy” (Aerosmith “…Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
1DExpected at or planned for at a certain time; what is owed
2DPistol fight at dawn
2DNot shiny, adjective/verb
1DMake persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
1DStupid person (he has to sit in the corner & wear a…cap)
1DA mound of sand (…buggy), or Herbert desert planet book series & films
1DShoulder-shrug non-response to a question; “I have no idea”; slang
2EFormal verb meaning to draw out something hidden
2EDodge, or fail to be grasped
2EProvide with a quality or ability
3LSound at high volume
2LSoothe (…into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LDoozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LMoon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de…”)
1NRequire; verb/noun
1NSmall swelling or aggregation of cells in the body, especially an abnormal one
1NIn grammar, a person, place or thing
1N(Physics) collective term for protons & neutrons
3NUnclothed (in the…), adj.
1NHaving no legal or binding force; invalid
2OStop, close up, or obstruct an opening, orifice, or passage
1OUnit of weight or liquid measure; 128 in a US gallon & 16 in a pound
1UJapanese noodles
1UParent’s brother (…Sam)
1UNot fashionable or impressive (think “warm” antonym), adj.

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.