Bee Roots for 2021-10-11

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
11AExtramarital dalliance
21AJackson 5 hairstyle
31AShape of plane wings
41AGrass for hay, or Little Rascal
51ACool & distant in behavior, adj.; anagram of bath sponge
61CBaby cow
71CUnit of energy in food
81CSteep rock face (white ones of Dover)
91CStyle someone’s hair, verb/noun
101CRed, green, blue, purple, etc.
111FFront part of head containing eyes, nose, & mouth 😀; noun/verb
121FDon’t pass a test
141FAutumn, noun; or plummet, verb
151FStatistical decrease, or result of slipping while on a ladder; compound
171FComic play with ridiculous characters and action
181FAncient grain used in salad & soup, not King Tut
191FOf or due from a son or daughter, adj.
201FAdd material until the container or hole is at capacity
211FSwing (arms) wildly
221FAptitude (for languages, e.g.) or panache
231FWhat you walk on inside (You’re getting mud on my clean…!)
241FPlants of a particular region (…& fauna), noun + adj. (…arrangement) (2 words)
251FInvolving flowers
261FBaby horse or other equine, noun/verb
271FFlat Italian bread made with yeast and olive oil and flavored with herbs
282FCenter of interest or activity, noun; adjust a camera to get a clear image, verb
291FThin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Police…-ed the robbery)
301FB-vitamin that treats anemia (… acid)
311FA book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
321FUnwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
331FMeeting place (Roman …, online discussion…)
341FWeak & delicate
351FMonk (… Tuck of “Robin Hood”)
361FDecorative or unnecessary extra, noun + adj.
371FPlay and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically, verb/noun
381LUnit of bread, noun; or idle (...around), verb
391LBath sponge
401OEntrails & organs used as food
411OConfirmed by an authority (it's …); someone who throws penalty flags
421RAfrican palm tree, or its fiber in hats, mats, & baskets
431RShort repeated phrase in pop & jazz (guitar)
441RUndesirable people, overflow room on “Ellen"
451RTop of a house (where Santa lands)

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.