Bee Roots for 2021-09-12

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
11ALeave behind (…ship! To the lifeboats!)
21AFilipino stew or Mexican seasoning
31ASoon, poetically
41BLarge monkey with red butt
51BAfrican tree
61BTaiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
71BHippie chic fashion; anagram of "vagrant"
81BCandy, or 2X “good" in French
91BAgent 007, Brit spy James
101BHit your head (1960s “Batman” sound effect), or have sex with in Brit slang
111BSmall ape related to chimps
121BBreast, slang
131B“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
141BWeeping sound, slang
151BPrinted novel
161BFavor, poetic (grant me a…), noun
171DExtinct bird; or idiot, slang
181DThingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
191HIntense windy desert dust or sand storm, esp. in Sahara & Sudan; from Arabic; laugh 2–letter sound + breast, slang
201HInstruction or reference manual, compound pangram noun
211HRhyming compound word: socialize (…with) (rich or powerful people, usually), verb; or Brit oat biscuit
221HTramp, vagrant; anagram of hippie chic fashion
231HCar horn or goose sound
241H“Little Red Riding…” noggin covering
251HColumn of weathered rocks, or black magic; rhyming word
261H“Peter Pan” Captain…, or what snags a fish
271HOriental tobacco pipe with a long, flexible tube that draws the smoke through water (smoked by the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland)
281KGrilled meat or veg on a stick, spelling var.
291KRadio volume or tuning dial, or door handle you turn
301KZen Buddhist paradoxical riddle or story for meditation, anagram of Hawaiian district or coffee grown there
311KCrazy or eccentric person, NOT a chef
321NConspicuously rich person, as in VP Agnew’s “nattering ...s of negativism”
331NBeginner, gamer slang
341NBarnes & Noble e-reader, or secluded corner
351N12:00, midday, 🕛

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.