Bee Roots for 2021-10-01

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
11EHour before noon
21EWorld weariness (French)
32ENumber that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (…out the edges)
41IConcave belly button, slang
51JNaive, simplistic, and superficial
62JArabian air or flame spirit, portrayed as living in lamps & granting 3 wishes, plural + singular (2 words)
71JFood cut into short, thin strips, noun/verb
81JRelating to young people, adjective/noun
91LFlat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
101LBank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
111LA queue, what you wait in for your turn
121LCloth napkin fabric
132LExist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
141LMoon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de…”)
151NHawaiian goose & state bird
161NNumber of justices on Supreme Court
171NHaving no legal or binding force; invalid
181VBride’s face covering
191VTube that returns blood to the heart
201VEvent location (booking a wedding…); seek to move a trial by requesting a change of...; noun
211VVery small body tube that returns blood to the heart from capillaries
221VClimbing plant (Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grape…”)

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.