Bee Roots for 2021-09-22

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
11CLarge town (NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
21CPopular Honda model, or municipal (adj.)
35CNon-military, or polite; adj.
41CNon-military clothing slang abbr. (always plural except in the Bee) (change into your …ies to leave base)
51CMedical facility (health...)
61CRegularly repeated, (○ related adj., like a bike’s full name)
71CDoubter, pessimist
81IFrozen water
91Inot healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could ... afford the cost of a new car)
101IReally small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
114LNot forbidden by law or custom
121LSingsong accent
131LMonet floral subject (water…)
142LDryer fluff
151NFoolish or silly person
161TCash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
171TMove into a sloping position, or fight windmills (…at)
181TSilvery-white metal, atomic number 50 (Cat on a Hot ... Roof)
191TArchaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”
201TShade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
212TVery small, adj., “Christmas Carol” kid
221VThe area nearby
231VClimbing plant (Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grape…”)
241VPlastic used to make records

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.