Bee Roots for 2021-08-22

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
2AExtraterrestrial (“In space no one can hear you scream”)
1A(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1AUptight, or butt-related; adj.
1AYearly record book
1AHeat then cool metal or glass slowly to toughen it
1A$ to join a poker game, or “before” prefix
1ABefore birth; usually written as PRE–...
2AIt picks up TV or radio signals
1AOpposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1ASucceed in getting, or reach; verb (…nirvana)
1AArchaic verb meaning to corrupt
1AFlowering rhododendron shrub
1EConsume food
1EÉnérgy, stylé, énthusiasm; from Frénch
1EMake someone ecstatically happy, verb
1EInvolve something as a necessary consequence: "the job ...s a lot of hard work"
1IStupid, silly, ridiculous (…questions or comments); adj.
2IFirst (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1ICause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1IPresent from birth (…behavior), adj.
1LHawaiian island or porch
1LSmall road (Beatles’ Penny… or Superman’s Lois…)
1LTropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
2LRunning behind (I’m…for class), or deceased (The…Charles Grodin)
1LAncient Roman triangular sail on a long yard at an angle of 45° to the mast
1LCapable of emerging, developing, or becoming active in the future (a…fingerprint)
1LCoffee with espresso & steamed milk
1LPut something down
1LRelax, idle (…about)
2LNot fatty (…meat), adj.; or incline (…back in your chair)
1LIllumination (Let there be…); noun/verb
1LA queue, what you wait in for your turn
1NIndiaan flaat breaad
1NSpike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NGrandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NLatin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NSwimming or floating adj. from Latin
1TDogs wag this hind appendage
1TSmear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TStory (fairy…), NOT what dogs wag; noun
1TNatural aptitude or skill (…show)
1TOf greater than average height, adj.
1TAnkle bone
1TBrown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TExcite someone's senses or desires
1TRat out your sibling to your parents
1TSomeone who rats out a sibling (compound)
1TBlue-green color, or a duck with a stripe of that color
1TRevealing, compound adj.; or indication, compound noun (Poe’s “The…Heart”)
1TPerson a landlord rents to
1TMove into a sloping position, or fight windmills (…at)
1TPre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TStimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
1ZFervor, passion, from Jewish sect that opposed Romans
1ZSixth letter of the Greek alphabet
1ZSunflower within the daisy family (what other flower starts with Z?)

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.