Bee Roots for 2021-09-01

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
12DConsider (I … it a great success)
21DPeople considered to be on the fringes of respectable society (from French)
32DShow off, slang abbr. (a … model impressed investors)
43DEvil spirit or devil
51DWhat jeans are made of
61DFaintly lit, adjective/verb
71DCoin worth 10 cents
82DRounded vault on a roof
91DSovereign authority over a country or people (Canada was a…from 1867 to 1951)
101DSpotted playing tile (“bones”)
112DTerrible fate (they fell to their…), or pioneering 1st person shooter game
122EAlter text to fix errors
131ISlang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
142MViral internet funny image, noun/verb
151MOffice note abbr.
162MRepair, especially clothes or shoes
172MMediterranean appetizer platter
181MVoice between soprano and alto
191MComputer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
201MA person’s look or expression, NOT an average
212MSilent performer
221MOld stencil duplicator, abbr. (missing –graph suffix)
232MIntention (I changed my…), noun; or dislike (I don’t…a little rain) or heed (…your manners), verb
242MWhere you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
251MSmaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
261M1/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
272MSmallest amount (the…bet at this table is $100)
281MUnderling, as seen in “Despicable Me”
291MRearmost sail & mast on a ship
301MManner in which something happens (…of operation), or fashion (pie à la…)
311MDevice to get a computer online (cable or DSL…)
321MSlang for something huge or remarkable, or Italian for “world”
331M$, cash
341M1–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
351MSound a cow makes
361MEmotional state (happy, angry, sad, etc.)
372MNASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
381NPropose a candidate for election or an honor
391OPortent, or Damien’s horror films (“The…”)
402Ztravel 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.