Bee Roots for 2021-10-19

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
11AInfluence or cause an action, move deeply, or pretend
21AGrass for hay, or Little Rascal
31CSmall réstaurant selling food & drinks (Intérnét, outdoor…)
41CBaby cow
51CMusic symbol indicating key (e.g., treble, 🎼); French for “key”
61CSplit (chin), adj.
71CEnd of shirt sleeve or pant leg
81EMake oneself appear insignificant, or remove a mark from an exterior
93EResult of an action (cause & …)
101EPretentious, flowery, or weak, adj.
111FFront part of head containing eyes, nose, & mouth 😀; noun/verb
121F1 side of a cut gem
132FThing that is known (for a …)
141FFried chickpea balls often served in pita
151FAutumn, noun; or plummet, verb
161FDeadly, adj. (“…Attraction” film)
172FDestiny, kismet, 1 of 3 Greek goddesses who determine yours
181FWhat you turn on to get water indoors
191FEarth fracture where quakes happen (San Andreas…), or weakness; noun
201FAchievement requiring great courage, skill, or strength (no easy…), noun
211FRemains of undigested food; excrement
221FPerceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
231FCut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
241F♂, slang (young or little…)
251FPerform oral sex on a ♂, verb
261FCloth made by rolling and pressing wool with moisture and/or heat
271FSoft Greek goat cheese, cubed when served
281FHonor lavishly, verb; from French for “party”
291FCondition, noun (in fine…); rhymes with whistling teapot
301FUnborn offspring of a mammal, more advanced than an embryo
311FHaving no depth or height (… as a pancake), or ♭ in music (opposite of ♯)
321FRolled tortilla resembling a shrill wind instrument, or the instrument in Spanish
331FHopping insect whose bites cause itching in dogs & cats
341FRun away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
351FWool from sheep, or fabric (jacket), noun; or overcharge, slang verb
361FGroup of ships sailing together, noun; or enema brand; or able to run fast (… of foot)
371FRise and fall irregularly
381FChimney duct, NOT a seasonal illness
391FDryer lint, noun, or what you do to a flat pillow (… up)
401FHigh-pitched wind instrument (Mozart's opera The Magic …)
411FWhat you cover with a sock
421FGasoline or oil, e.g., noun; or add it to a tank (… up)
431FAt capacity (I can’t finish the meal, I’m …), adj.
441LNissan electric car; 4 of these on a clover is lucky
451LFlier passed out on the street, or to pass them out
461L← remaining (only 1 cookie …), or departed
471TDiplomacy, sensitivity
481TFine lustrous silk with crisp texture used for formal gowns
491TFootstool or low seat (where Little Miss Muffet sat)
501TClump of hair that sticks up

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.