Bee Roots for 2021-10-17

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
11CSomething that signals an actor or other performer, noun/verb
21CDivide into pieces with a knife or other sharp implement, verb/noun
32CAdorable (… as a button) or clever (don’t get … with me)
41DMake up one’s mind
52DDraw a logical conclusion
62DSubtract (I have to … taxes from your weekly pay)
71DNotice (Do I … a hint of lemon in this cake?)
81DA playing card with the number 2 on it (the … of spades), noun
91DPerform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
102DAir conduit in a home or building (dryer …), or tube in a body (tear …)
112DSlang for “guy” (Aerosmith “…Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
121DExpected at or planned for at a certain time; what is owed
132DPerformance by 2 people (music, dance, etc.)
141DMake persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
151DStupid person (he has to sit in the corner & wear a … cap)
161DA mound of sand (… buggy), or Herbert desert planet book series & films
171ERevise text
182EFormal verb meaning to draw out something hidden
192EProvide with a quality or ability
201EWorld weariness (French)
211EFrench for “study,” or short musical exercise piece
222ICause labor to start (medical); persuade or influence someone to do something
233IAdmit someone to an organization (they were …ed into the Hall of Fame)
241IMean to do something (what do you …?)
252ITurboTax company, or know by feeling rather than evidence
261NRequire; verb/noun
274NUnclothed (in the …), adj.
282TFasten with string or cord, verb/noun
294TSync the pitch of instruments before concerts
301TUpper body garment in a uniform or in ancient Greece & Rome
311TMake an exclamation expressing disapproval or annoyance
321TPrivate instructor
331TAll together, musically (Italian); Little Richard “Wop bop a loo bop” song
341TBallet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
351USomething whole on its own but part of larger thing (apartment, Army squad, e.g.)
362UBring together

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.