Bee Roots for 2021-09-30

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
11BPorters, hotel ♂ (plural) who carry bags in response to a ding sound (compound)
21EThe periodic table is full of these (singular)
31E(Heraldic) symbol or badge (of a nation)
41ERenowned (scholar); used with “domain” to mean gov property grab
51EGive off (radiation, signals)
61IDrink (alcohol) (formal)
71IAbout to happen (...demise, e.g.), adj.
81IOne thing as part of a set, 10 or fewer of these at an express register
91LGeneral term for an arm or leg, or large tree branch (go out on a…)
101LSmall green citrus fruit
111LSize, speed, or amount restriction
121L(Literary verb) represent by image or words, or outline or highlight
131L♂ utility pole workers, or forward ♂ football players (compound)
141LOily pain-relieving liquid or lotion
151LSmall (Stuart or Chicken…), adj.
161MEncounter (I’m supposed to…him in the park)
171MConfusing scuffle
181MWhat ice cream does when you leave it out of the freezer, verb
191MViral internet funny image, noun/verb
201MPerson who is trained by a guide (–EE suffix)
211MDispense justice (“…out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
221MPerson’s ability to cope with adversity (test your…), NOT iron or tin; noun
231MA person’s look or expression, NOT an average
241M5,280 feet, or 1.6 km
251MWheat or pepper grinder
261MGrain used as food; pearl is most common
271MSilent performer
281MWhere you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
291MSmaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
301M1/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
311MBreath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
321MTiny tick, or very small amount (I'm a … testy today)
331MCatcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
341MFingerless winter glove for a kid or Sen. Bernie Sanders at inauguration
351NAgile, or what “Jack be” in nursery rhyme; adj.
361NLarge gray rain cloud
371TBe full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
381TSet of rooms within a house, or cheap multi-family bldg.
391TWhat clocks measure & display
401TChronology of events or Facebook posts (compound)
411TName of a book, movie, or job, noun/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.