Bee Roots for 2021-08-31

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
14ENumber of legs on a spider
21HMeasure of how tall something is
31HGreater than normal (…definition TV), or stoned (…as a kite), adj.
41IReally small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
51TPart of leg between hip & knee
61THaving no slack (all my pants have become too…since the lockdown started), adj.
71TGive 10% of your income to the Church
81TSlender woody shoot growing from a branch or stem of a tree or shrub, or small stick
91TSilly person (also, start of a social media platform name)
101WPut something on a scale to determine heaviness
112WWhat the scale reads in lbs or kg, noun (my…has gone up since the lockdown started)
121WVery small amount (it makes not a…of difference)
131WColor of snow or a bridal dress
141WHead covering made of hair
151WArchaic for ghost, or “Isle of…” in English Channel off Hampshire coast; homophone of snow color
161WAptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create humor; mental sharpness
171WPreposition: “accompanied by” (“I’m…stupid ←” t-shirt)
181YAbominable snowman

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.