Bee Roots for 2021-08-24

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
1AWarning (bell)
1AUptight, or butt-related; adj.
1AYearly record book
1BWhere Cinderella lost her slipper
1BHelium or air filled toy that can pop
1BA large space used for dancing
1BSoothing ointment (lip…)
1BUnoriginal, dull
1BReveal a secret by indiscreet talk
1BExclamation used to represent a loud sharp sound, as of a gunshot or explosion
1BGelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
2B(Of a plant) produce flowers
1BThrown weighted string weapon
1BCotton seed target for weevil
1BWestern string tie
1BVariant of ice hockey, played with sweeping tools instead of sticks and a sphere instead of a puck (compound)
1LHard work (manual…), or UK political party of Tony Blair (they add a U)
1LTibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai...)
1LA young sheep; Mary had a little one
1LS Am camel
1LSouth American grassy plain
1LFertile, sandy soil
1LBorrowed $, noun/verb
1LWolf, Spanish
1LHang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LCloth weaving device
1L“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1MShopping mecca
1MVertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1MGrinding back tooth
1MMobster’s ♀
1M$, slang (from Fiji)
2MPrincipled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
2NStandard (noun), or former SNL Weekend Update comic Macdonald
1OSpoken (...exam), or by mouth (, adjective
1RWhat you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1RVehicle roof rod to protect against overturning, compound

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.