Bee Roots for 2021-09-16

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
11ADecorate (...with) (Xmas tree, e.g.)
21AStuck on the ground under shallow water (a huge container ship ran ... in the Suez Canal)
31ALong-haired rabbit or goat, or fabric from its hair (...sweater)
41ASoon, poetically
51AAtomic no. 18, abundant gas in Earth atmosphere
61ANearby (it's…here somewhere, just…the corner) adj.; or encircling, preposition
71DMild cuss (just get the…thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
81DMilder form of above exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
91DPerform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
101D₫ (Vietnam $), or 2nd ½ of doorbell sound
111DSomeone who gives (blood, organs, $)
121DFlying fire-breather (Smaug)
131DCavalry officer, noun; or coerce, verb
141DAquatic mammal with a forked tail that lives on the coasts of the Indian Ocean
151DAnimal manure
161DShoulder-shrug non-response to a question; “I have no idea”; slang
171GGroup of thugs ("Working on the Chain..."), noun/verb
181GGland that produces sperm or eggs
191GOrchestra chime or dinner bell
201GIntend to do, slang contraction
211GThug, noun
221G3 Greek sisters with snakes for hair & petrifying gazes
231GParent’s mom, slang abbr.
241GMagnificent or imposing in appearance, size, or style, adj.; a thousand $, slang
252GYour parent's father (familiar)
261GMake an unhappy sound, or respond to a lame joke
272GThe solid surface of the earth, noun; prohibit from flying, verb
281GBat droppings
291NIndiaan flaat breaad
301NNothing, Spanish
311NGrandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
321N9–sided shape
331N12:00, midday, 🕛
341NIn grammar, a person, place or thing
351ORed-haired ape, slang abbr.
361OKeyboard instrument with pipes (church…)
371RHarmful gas that seeps into homes; atomic no. 86
381RKirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
392RMake a bell sound, verb/noun; encircle, verb/noun
401RHorse with 2–colored coat
411RMusical form with recurring theme, often final movement of a piece, from Italian
421RCircular, adj.
431REvasive treatment (“they gave me the...”), compound (lit., jog in a circle)
441UJapanese noodles

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.