Bee Roots for 2021-09-28

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
12CGive up (power or territory)
21CSpherical or nearly spherical bacterium
32CNest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
46CWrite a computer program, or cipher a message to hide it
51CAddictive pain-killer
61CSequence of 3 nucleotides in DNA
71C♀ student, or mixed ♂ & ♀ school, slang abbr.
82CMetal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase, verb
93COccur at the same time (…with)
101CSwindle, verb; someone serving a prison sentence (noun, slang)
111CSelf-owned apartment with an HOA, slang abbr.
122CAccept or allow misbehavior to continue (“We don’t…this behavior”)
133CIce cream holder shape
141CMade a pigeon sound, or talked amorously
151DChrysler Bldg. style (Art…)
161DFlintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
171D1–way semiconductor with 2 terminals
181DExtinct bird; or idiot, slang
191DRoom in which martial arts are practiced
201DPut on (... we now our gay apparel)
211DGive to a good cause
221DFinished (with a task)
231E“Killing” of the environment
242ELegal term meaning to prohibit someone from doing something
252ISymbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.)
271IElement 53, stored in thyroid, added to table salt, used to treat cuts
281IAtom or molecule with a net electric charge
294JLink, connect ( holy matrimony)
301NPerson with non-traditional right-wing political views, slang abbr.
311NAtomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
321NMove your head up and down a little, usually to signal agreement, verb/noun
331NConnecting point
341NLiterary word meaning “for the [time being]”
351NQuantity of zero; “all” antonym
361N12:00, midday, 🕛
371OGreek or Roman building used for musical performances (smaller than theaters)
381OA single time (they deliver…a week)
391OVeg that makes you cry when cut

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.