Bee Roots for 2021-10-09

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
11ABanded quartz, perhaps a toy marble
21APerson who acts on behalf of another person or group (secret …)
31AShoelace tip protector
43APond scum
51AClaim without proof
61AHarp-playing winged heaven resident, or Xmas tree topper
71AThey can be acute, right, or obtuse
82EA bald one is the national bird
91EPurple egg-shaped fruit, pangram
101EGraceful and stylish in appearance or manner
111ECommit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
121GBiden inauguration National Anthem singer
131G“Emergency!” paramedic, or alt spelling of a measuring dial missing a central “U” (fuel…)
141GA “herd” of geese
151GFormal ball or fundraiser (The Met…, e.g.)
161GAsian plant of the ginger family, widely used in cooking and medicine
171GStrong wind storm
181GChief ore of lead
191GFrench flat fruit pie
201GLiver secretion, or bold behavior
211GBrave, heroic
221GGroup of thugs ("Working on the Chain..."), noun/verb
232GStare open-mouthed
241GHinged barrier, or airplane boarding area
251G(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
261GYiddish for $, bet during dreidel game
271GDNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
281G♂ counterpart to “lady,” slang abbr.
291GPolite, refined, or respectable
301GTender (… caress or touch), moderate, or soft
311GGather info from various sources, or take leftover grain after a harvest
321GDelight, choir (, or TV show about a HS choir
331GNarrow valley, or Eagles singer Frey
341GTiny flying insect
351LLaw adj. (not forbidden by law)
361LGeneral or governor of an ancient Roman province, or their deputy; or a member of the clergy, esp. a cardinal, representing the Pope
371NNullify; make ineffective
381PHeathen; worshiper of the old gods (…rituals)
391PBook leaf, noun; or summon with a beeper or announcement, verb
401PEntertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colorful costumes; or beauty contest
411PStab of emotion (… of guilt or regret)
421PLoud, reverberating, and often melancholy sound
431TStrong taste, flavor, or smell; astronaut orange juice
441TCompletely different line of thought or action (sometimes I go off on a …); (math) a line or plane that approximates a curve or surface at a point
452TTwist together into a confused mass, verb/noun
461TBetween twelve and twenty

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.