Bee Roots for 2021-11-08

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. The Halloween, 2021 redesign improved the usability, I hope.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle

Table content

root #answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
11EP4Fencing sword
21IM5Drive forward, or force or urge someone to do something, verb
31IM9Tool, utensil, piece of equipment, noun; put a plan into action, verb
151IM10Feeling or showing sorrow & regret for having done wrong, adj.; or a person seeking forgiveness for their sins, noun
41IN5Having or showing no skill; clumsy
51LI4Walk with a bad leg, verb; or soggy noodle adj.
61LI6Marine mollusk with a shallow conical shell
81NI6Teat that babies suck on
71NI7Bowling variation with 1 target less than standard; compound
91PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
101PE4Backside of a hammer
111PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
131PE4Bombard (with snowballs), verb; or animal fur, noun
181PE4Archaic for “repressed,” now used as …-up frustration, adj.
171PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
191PE5The kind of jury that renders verdicts (from French for small)
121PE6Small, rounded, compressed mass (food, buckshot, rabbit dung)
141PE6♂ sex organ
161PE6Archaic for writers; literally “ink stick” & ♂ plural
201PE6Small (French)
151PE8Feeling or showing sorrow & regret for having done wrong, adj.; or a person seeking forgiveness for their sins, noun
211PI4Heap, stack (dirty laundry, raked leaves, etc.), noun/verb
221PI4Tablet of medicine
231PI4♂ who controls prostitutes
251PI4Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
261PI416 fluid oz., or typical UK beer serving
271PI4Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
291PI5Slender tube with a bulb, used to transfer or measure small amounts of liquid in a lab; 2 spellings
301PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
311PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
291PI7Slender tube with a bulb, used to transfer or measure small amounts of liquid in a lab; 2 spellings
281PI8Tube that transports oil & gas, compound
321PL4Ballét bénd
341TE4Office worker fill-in, slang abbr.
331TE5Native Am conical hut
361TE5Speed at which a passage of music is played; more generally, pace of an activity
371TE5Entice (as a donut to a dieter, e.g.), verb
331TE6Native Am conical hut
351TE6Building devoted to the worship of one or more deities
381TE6Bowling with the standard number of targets, compound
391TI6Pointy ornamental ♂ neckwear-controlling device; clips are more common now; compound
401TI6Long fur scarf, stole or shawl; or a clerical scarf
411TI6Drink alcohol, verb; or the drink, slang noun

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.