Bee Roots for 2021-10-05

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
11AArchaic exclamation of regret or dismay; from list word for “absence of”
21AAcid opposite in chem. (soluble base)
31AAssault, noun (an enemy…) or verb (…the problem head-on)
41CHeel sounds on tile, verb; or NPR “car” show guy 2
51CWhat you do to a web button or link, verb; or NPR “Car Talk” guy 1
61CSleeveless jacket, or espionage “…& dagger” term
71CIt tells time
81CRooster, or slang for penis
91CCrested parrot species
101CMixed alcoholic drink (rooster + what dogs wag), compound pangram
111CPrep or heat food
121KStrike with foot, verb/noun
141KGreek 1,000 prefix; also an abbr. for 1,000 grams of weight
151K♂ plaid skirt in Scotland
161KTree climbing marsupial “bear”
171KSmall African tree with nuts that flavor Pepsi
181KCrazy or eccentric person, NOT a chef
191LAbsence of (talent or imagination, e.g.), verb/noun
201LTongue off (as an ice cream cone, e.g.), verb/noun
211LA door fastener with a key, noun/verb
221LDirect one’s gaze toward someone or something, verb/noun
231TSmall nail (thumb…, carpet…), noun; use one, or sail into the wind, verb
241TReach for and hold; remove (… away)
251TSpeak (…to the hand!)
261TBloodsucking arachnid that transmits Lyme disease, or mechanical clock sound; noun/verb
271TCompound word that is both parts of a mechanical clock sound
281TPolynesian or Maori god, or Polynesian style (… bar or torch, Kon-… raft)
291TIndian dish of small pieces of meat or vegetables marinated in a spice mixture
301T2nd half of a timepiece sound
311TA set of implements

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.