Bee Roots for 2021-08-29

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
1BLarge community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, for example forest or tundra
1B(Of a plant) produce flowers
1BIt explodes, noun/verb
1BFrozen dome-shaped dessert similar to above
1BSound of explosion or subwoofer
1ESteal money you were trusted with
1E(Heraldic) symbol or badge (of a nation)
1IDrink (alcohol) (formal)
1LGeneral term for an arm or leg, or large tree branch (go out on a…)
1LUncertain waiting period (in…), a place for a soul not in either Heaven or Hell, or a dance where you bend backwards to pass under a bar
1LSmall green citrus fruit
1LChauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LCloth weaving device
1MConfusing scuffle
1MViral internet funny image, noun/verb
1MOffice note abbr.
2MMediterranean appetizer platter
1MVoice between soprano and alto
1M5,280 feet, or 1.6 km
1MWheat or pepper grinder
1MSilent performer
1MOld stencil duplicator, abbr. (missing –graph suffix)
4MAble to move freely or easily, adjective/noun
1MTo work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1MBurrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
1MMobster’s ♀
1ZWalking corpse, or a mixed drink with several kinds of rum or liqueur
1Ztravel quickly, or change between close-up and long shot, or a popular video conferencing platform

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.