Bee Roots for 2021-10-07

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
11G3 Greek sisters with snakes for hair & petrifying gazes
21GTrail mix of dried fruit & nuts
31GWatered-down (nautical) rum
41GSmall picturesque cave (the Blue … in Capri)
51GSet of nearby and/or similar people or things, noun/verb
61GPaste for filling gaps in tiles
71GShort & low (esp. pig) sound; or slang term for lowly soldier or worker
81GOpening in a ship's hull for a cannon
91GIndian spiritual teacher
101OOpposite of inflow, verb, typically used in gerund form
111OClosing show music (antonym begins with IN–)
121OSprint more quickly or farther in a footrace than someone else (compound)
131PLacking $, or worse than ideal
142PSmutty images
151PNautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
161PFlow rapidly in a steady stream
171PFork or antler tine, or deer species (-horn)
181PIn grammar, word that refers to people being discussed (I or you, e.g.)
191PQuickly, or Spanish for “soon”
201PSupport (…up), verb; on-stage object or ballot initiative abbr., noun
211PSubatomic particle with positive charge
221PAppear to be something, especially falsely
231PHappy cat rumbling sound
241RMake a bell sound, verb/noun; encircle, verb/noun
251RPlant anchor that sucks up water
261RCheap liquor (literally, what it does to your stomach)
271RDevice or blade that spins
281RDisorderly retreat, or decisive defeat
291RSlight error in rotating tool
301RSmallest of the litter
311TRipped, adj. or past participle
321TBull, Spanish
331TLethargy, not quite hibernation
341TLegal wrong, NOT pastry
351TTake a guided one of these in a foreign city (on a ...bus?)
361TSoldiers (usually plural), or unit of Boy or Girl Scouts
371TFast walking pace for horses or people
381TCommon game fish (rainbow…, e.g.)
391TChange direction , verb (use your…signal when driving!)
401TNumber of people who show up at an event (we had a great…last night for our poetry reading), compound
411TPrivate instructor
421UPull out of the ground; or (figurative) move someone away from a familiar place
431UImprovement, especially in economic conditions or someone's fortunes

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.