Bee Roots for 2021-09-03

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
11DFop, or foppish (“Yankee Doodle…” Cagney film)
24DUnable to hear
33DResist an attack or protect from harm
43DGive the meaning of a word, as a dictionary
51DOpenly resist or refuse to obey
61DTreat someone or something as a god
71DMake something seem worthy or impressive (I won't ... that with an answer)
81EInstruct or improve someone, morally or intellectually
93FGradually become faint
102FDevice, manual or electrical, that moves air for cooling or drying, noun/verb; enthusiastic supporter of a sports team
115FLarge sharp tooth, esp. of a dog, wolf, or vampire
122FGive a meal to
133FPretend to have a particular feeling (…enthusiasm)
143FLook after & provide for oneself, without any help from others
151FMedieval for feudal land or area of control; often has –DOM suffix
161FDevilish person, or slang for addict or fanatic
173FSmall flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
181FFlat appendage on the body of an aquatic animal (dorsal ...)
192FLocate something that was lost, verb/noun
203FImpose a $ penalty (the judge…-ed him $100 for speeding)
211GStick with hook or barbed spear for fishing, or sailboat spar, NOT a social or speaking faux pas
221GSocial or speaking blunder
231NInexperienced person (from French)

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.