Bee Roots for 2021-10-18

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
11BReceptacle for storing a specified substance, noun/verb; trash can (British)
21BOverindulge (…-watch Netflix); verb/noun
31BGame with a number sheet, marker, & a number caller
41BMake a quick short movement up and down (… for apples); short haircut for women
51BSewing machine thread holder
61BWet muddy ground too soft to support something heavy; become stuck in such a place, verb (negotiations …ed down)
71BSound of a spring or jack-in-the-box, noun
81BSkeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
91BExpress disapproval at a game, verb; what ghosts say
102BContainer with a flat bottom, sides, and top, noun; put something in such a container, verb; participate in a sport that involves hitting your opponent, verb
111BInsect, noun (informal), bother, verb (informal)
121BBony bump on big toe
131GAnother small ape related to chimps, or “Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire” author; noun
141GInsulting or mocking remark, noun/verb
151GClear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; card game
162Gleave; move from one place to another
171GMake a groove with a sharp tool; overcharge (figurative)
181GLethal weapon; slang term for someone who uses it (hired …)
191IWhere you get mail and memos at work; where you find new emails, compound
201IA baseball game is divided into 9 of these
211NExpress denial or refusal; put an end to
221NHead, slang (use your…), noun
231NSmall bump, or small stunted ear of corn
241OVeg that makes you cry when cut
251ULabor org. (Teamsters, AFL-CIO)

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.