Bee Roots for 2021-08-27

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
1AExtreme pain
1ANautical greeting (“…there, matey!”)
1AIrritate, vex, irk
1AInformal, humorous subject-changer after an interruption or diversion; compound
1GCompetitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GBlack-footed albatross
1HMeat from a pig, often served on holidays
1Hlarge sandwich on a long, crusty roll; sub
1Hmarriage between similar people, inbreeding
2HWord that sounds the same but has different meaning than others (to/too/two) + the quality of being such (linguistics term)
1HSong of praise to a deity
1MHard reddish-brown timber from a tropical tree, used for high-quality furniture
1MSkin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
1MMore than a few (…people are saying)
1MHellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1MMother, familiar
1MBeing married to one person at a time
1MSingular tag for famous people (Cher, Moses, Socrates, Beyoncé)
1MNASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
2MTalking starling that’s often a pet
1NAnnoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
1N♀ goat, or nursemaid
1YExclamation ("I’m rich!"), or Web portal & search engine before Google!
1YRepresenting heaven, positivity, masculinity, and activity (Chinese philosopy)
1YBendy, meditative exercise on mats
1Y“Hey, over here!” exclamation, or chocolate drink brand

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.