Bee Roots for 2021-09-17

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
11ASpacious, well-lit, & well-ventilated (room); or breezy (attitude); adj.
21AFeeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility, noun/verb
32AOrdered series, esp. math
41CReluctant to give information because of caution or suspicion, adj.
51CSmall bird, popular as a pet, once used as a monitor for poison gas (... in a coal mine)
61CShrewd; or soup tin adj.
71CPerson who works in a traveling amusement (slang)
82CLug around (fireman’s…), verb
91CSteep or rugged cliff or rock face, Celtic
101CSmall, narrow space or opening
111CBend the head and/or body in fear or in a servile manner
121CShed tears; shout or scream; verb/noun
131CGreenish-blue (ink cartridge)
141CDoubter, pessimist
151GCereal crop used as food, wheat for example; pattern of fibers in wood, paper or fabric
161GStorage for threshed cereals
171GYour parent's mother (familiar)
182GBlack & while shade (50 of them?)
191NAnnoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
202N♀ goat, or nursemaid
211NDialectic negation (I survived with…a scratch)
221NFoolish or silly person
231RLively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
241RLiquid precipitation
251RTall and slim with long, slender limbs, adj.
261RStream of light
271YRepresenting heaven, positivity, masculinity, and activity (Chinese philosopy)
281YKnitting thread, or wild story

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.