Bee Roots for 2021-10-13

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
11IEnter (go … the room), preposition
21IAnnounce upcoming thing (next guest), or prelude (beginner’s course, book preface), slang abbr.
31IElement Fe (number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
41MSmaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
51M1/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
61MUnderling, as seen in “Despicable Me”
71MLess important (… detail) or musical chord type, adj., or an underage person
81MBreath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
91MLooking glass (“Who’s the fairest of them all?”)
101MCatcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
111MComputer screen, to observe, or lizard type
121MAction by which things change position, or parliamentary proposal; noun
131NSlang abbr. for chem. used as explosive & heart med.
141N“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
151NVague idea, or small sewing accessory
161OLeave out, verb
171OVeg that makes you cry when cut
181OBelief or judgment (“In my humble…)
201P♂ who controls prostitutes
211PPart of bird wing, or small gear engaging with large one (as in “rack & …” steering)
221PWine grape variety
231PLocate exactly, or sharp end of sewing fastener
241P16 fluid oz., or typical UK beer serving
251PType of bean, horse, or Ford car
261PGround-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
271PFosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
281PRock-climbing spike
291PIndicate with finger, or end of sharp object
301PNautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
312PSection of a whole, or food helping
321PWitch or mad scientist concoction; “love,” e.g.
331PStiffly formal and respectable (… and proper)
341POf top quality or importance; the upper part in a duet (music)
351PSpend time making minor adjustments to one's hair, makeup, or clothes
363PMake a hard copy of computer data, or stamp ink on paper
371PExisting before in time, adj. (Sorry, I have a … engagement)
381PFurther the progress of something; raise someone's rank
391RCivil unrest, noun; or to rampage, verb
401RIndian flatbread that isn’t naan
411RSpiral pasta, fusilli
421TShade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
431TRhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition)
441TNew Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
451TShinto shrine gate, NOT double plural of donut shapes
461TItalian ice cream with rum, almonds, & cherries
471TDonut shape
481TNeaten (hair) by snipping off ends
491TMusical group of 3 (Kingston …)
501TJourney, noun (you’ve won a … to Paris!), or stumble (… over your own 2 feet), verb
511TSon of Poseidon, largest Neptune moon; mollusk with a tall spiral shell

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.