Bee Roots for 2021-09-14

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
11FPerson who has been convicted of a serious crime & often can’t vote as a result
21FVeg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
31KEager (peachy-…), adj.; or wail in grief
41KDog or cat housing (where you leave them when away), noun; or put a pet in one, verb
51KBetting game similar to bingo or lotto, often done at restaurants, where you pick numbers that you hope will be drawn
61KMid-leg joint, noun; or hit someone with one, verb
71KBend down & rest on above to pray, propose marriage, or protest during the National Anthem
81KSlow ringing at a church that signifies death
91KSmall mound (the grassy…)
101LYellow citrus fruit, or CNN anchor Don
111LSolitary (...wolf, e.g.), adj.
121L“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
131MCantaloupe or honeydew, e.g.
141Mgroup of ♂, especially those of a particular family or community
151MTV detective played by Tony Shalhoub, or friar
161M1–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
171MNASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
181NHawaiian goose & state bird
191NAtomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
201NXmas time, or playwright Coward
211NQuantity of zero; “all” antonym
221NBarnes & Noble e-reader, or secluded corner
231N12:00, midday, 🕛
241OPortent, or Damien’s horror films (“The…”)

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.