Bee Roots for 2021-08-30

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

clue #words coveredroot 1st letterclue
11AGarlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
21AApportion $ or other resource (time, e.g.)
31AHawaiian greeting
41ASax smaller than a tenor, or voice higher than one
51AUptight, or butt-related; adj.
61AYearly record book
71AUtterly destroy, obliterate
81ACeremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
91ASoon, poetically
101AMound made by industrious six-legged creatures
111AOpposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
121ACoral island (Bikini, e.g.)
131ASucceed in getting, or reach; verb (…nirvana)
141AArchaic verb meaning to corrupt
151HFrozen rain “stone,” noun; or summon a taxi, verb
161HKosher in Islam
171HCorridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
181HNimbus (ring of light or glowing cloud) atop a saint, or Xbox shooter game
191HCome to a complete & sudden stop, verb
201HArchaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell…no fury)
211HYoga type that pairs poses with breathing
222IThe phase of breathing that expands your chest
231IFirst (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
241ICause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
251IAtom or molecule with a net electric charge
261I9th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
271LHawaiian island or porch
281LSheep (wool) oil, used as skin moisturizer
291LTropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
301LFlat strip of wood, often plastered as wallboard
311LPut something down
321LIllumination (Let there be…); noun/verb
331LSouth American grassy plain
341LBorrowed $, noun/verb
351LReluctant (to), adj.; often confused with verb ending in E meaning “hate”
361NIndiaan flaat breaad
371NSpike that’s hammered, noun/verb
381NGrandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
391NLatin adj. relating to place or time of birth
401NSwimming or floating adj. from Latin
412NCountry, or temperance activist Carrie
422NWrite something, for example music, in a specialized system
431NVague idea, or small sewing accessory
441OVow or pledge (you’re under one in court testimony)
451TMiddle Eastern sesame seed paste or sauce
461TDogs wag this hind appendage
471TSmear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
481TOf greater than average height, adj.
491TA bird of prey's claw
501TAnkle bone
511TBrown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
521TSkin “ink”
531TComparison word (smaller…a breadbox)
541TPronoun for the other thing (this &…)
551TMove into a sloping position, or fight windmills (…at)
561TPre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
571TStimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
583TCharacter of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
591TThe whole amount (sum of numbers, e.g.)

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.