Bee Roots for 2021-09-18

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
12AMuscle, heart, tooth, or tummy dull pain
21AFurther forward in space or time; in the lead (sports)
32CHidden stockpile, or computer temp memory storage to speed access
41CPunched-out paper “hanging” from ballots
51CJewish Sabbath braided egg bread
62CPossibility (there’s a small…) or serendipity (they met by…)
71CSpace around a church altar
82CTV station number on a knob (CBS is 2 in NYC & LA) or strait (swim across the English…)
92CClose fingers into a tight ball (fist), or contract muscles (buttocks, jaw)
101DRussian country house
111DLarge building for moving rhythmically to music (compound)
122DRemove spent flowers from a plant (compound)
131EEvery one, pronoun; or apiece, adv.
142EIntensify, increase, or improve (do this to your driver’s license so it meets new TSA rules)
151HKosher in Islam
161HStrong, well, fit (…& hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
171HCorridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
182HWhat sticks out of your sleeve
191HDevice that works while resting in your palm
202HManage a situation, verb; something you pull to open a drawer, or something you hold to carry a suitcase, noun
212HBody part that holds your brain, eyes, ears, nose and mouth
221HDiscomfort in the noggin
231HCoastal promontory
242HRecover from injury
252HPay attention to (you didn’t…my advice)
262HBack of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
271HSatan’s domain
281HConsequently, or in the future (…-forth)
292HHair or temp. tattoo dye
301HGrasp in your hands, or wait “on…” (on a call with tech support, e.g.)
312LDissolve out by percolating liquid, verb; or “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” host Robin
321LWomanizer, derogatory slang abbr., or Polish president Wałęsa
332LBloodsucking worm, noun; habitually exploit or rely on, verb

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.