Bee Roots for 2021-10-08

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
11CLemon in French; in English an Asian lemon or vodka flavor
21CSpherical or nearly spherical bacterium
31CNest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
41CBurial box
51CStyle someone’s hair, verb/noun
61CMetal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase, verb
71CFiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
82CCreate a mixed drink, potion, or wild story
91CIce cream holder shape
101CDuck or other meat cooked & preserved in its own fat, French
111CMeet someone face to face in order to argue; face up to or deal with a problem
122CTwist or bend out of the normal shape
131CRemorseful, sorry (with a … heart)
141CFoolish old ♂, or water bird
151CVeg on a cob
161CSoft fabric or its plant source
171CHoley shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
181CSmall plant that blooms early in spring
191CSing like Sinatra
202FBook with made-up stories
211F“Done” in Italian
221FCenter of interest or activity, noun; adjust a camera to get a clear image, verb
231FType face; in some churches, it holds water for baptism
241FWhat you cover with a sock
251FMilitary post (Lee or Dix in NJ, e.g.)
261FResistance of objects moving over each other, pangram
271FOpposite of back; edge of a weather system
282ISymbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.)
291ICollection of facts and tips, abbr.
301IEnter (go … the room), preposition
311IAnnounce upcoming thing (next guest), or prelude (beginner’s course, book preface), slang abbr.
321IAtom or molecule with a net electric charge
331IElement Fe (number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
341IWryly funny because it’s opposite to what’s expected (a fire station burns down, e.g,)
351NSlang abbr. for chem. used as explosive & heart med.
361N“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film…)
371N12:00, midday, 🕛
381NVague idea, or small sewing accessory
391OVeg that makes you cry when cut
401OPreposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
411RCivil unrest, noun; or to rampage, verb
421ROrnamental decorative style
431RTop of a house (where Santa lands)
441RPlant anchor that sucks up water
451RIndian flatbread that isn’t naan
461RSpiral pasta, fusilli
471RDevice or blade that spins
481TCarbonated water often mixed with gin
491TAnimated film or character, slang abbr. (car-…)
501TShort horn sound; noun/verb
511TShinto shrine gate, NOT double plural of donut shapes
521TRipped, adj. or past participle
531TBull, Spanish
541TLegal wrong, NOT pastry
551TItalian ice cream with rum, almonds, & cherries
562TDonut shape
571T3–brimmed hat
581TFine-knitted fabric, from French “to knit”
591TMusical group of 3 (Kingston...)
601TSon of Poseidon, largest Neptune moon; mollusk with a tall spiral shell
611TFast walking pace for horses or people

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.