Bee Roots for 2021-09-04

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
12CNest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
22CMetal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase, verb
31CSwindle, verb; someone serving a prison sentence (noun, slang)
41CIce cream holder shape
51CSoft murmur made by a dove or pigeon, noun/verb
61CSomething that signals an actor or other performer, noun/verb
71CSkill in achieving one’s ends by deceit (…thieves evaded the alarm) , adj.
81GClear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; card game
92Gleave; move from one place to another
101GOrchestra chime or dinner bell
111GThug, noun
121GMake a groove with a sharp tool; overcharge (figurative)
131GLethal weapon; slang term for someone who uses it (hired ...)
141IFrozen water
152ISymbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.)
161IA baseball game is divided into 9 of these
171IAtom or molecule with a net electric charge
181JLively dance with leaping movements, noun/verb
191JVociferous supporter of war, especially in the name of patriotism
202JArabian air or flame spirit, portrayed as living in lamps & granting 3 wishes, plural + singular (2 words)
211JRun at a slow pace for exercise (she went out for a ...)
224JLink, connect ( holy matrimony)
231JJolt or bounce
241JContainer for liquids, noun; stew or boil a hare or rabbit, verb
251JLiquid from fruit or vegetables
261JNorth American songbird related to the buntings, with mainly gray and brown plumage
271NHead, slang (use your…), noun
281N12:00, midday, 🕛
291NIn grammar, a person, place or thing
301OVeg that makes you cry when cut
311ULabor org. (Teamsters, AFL-CIO)

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.