Bee Roots for 2021-11-12

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, ...)
31AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
11AL5Put (fears) at rest
21AL5Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
41AM4Abbr. for …nitrite "poppers" you sniff at a rave; or C₅H₁₁ on its own
201AM8Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
61AR4Military land force, Navy football rival
71AR5Ordered series, esp. math
51AR6Protective covering against weapons (suit of…)
81AR6Steep-sided gully in SW US; Spanish for creek
91JO5Happy and cheerful, often said of Old Saint Nicholas
101LO5Fertile, sandy soil
111LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
121LO5Faithful, devoted
121LO7Faithful, devoted
161MA4Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
151MA5Wed, verb
171MA5Top city elected official
131MA7Military rank between captain & colonel (Tony Nelson on “Jeannie”)
141MA7Milk-producing gland
171MA7Top city elected official
181MO5Small black aquarium fish; or actress Ringwald; or Ecstasy drug (slang)
191MO5Mother, familiar
211MO5Eel-like predatory fish that hides in crevices
201MO7Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
221OR6Spoken (...exam), or by mouth (, adjective
231RA5Mass meeting of people for a common cause (pep, political)
241RO5Chamber of a house (kitchen, bed-…, bath-…), noun/verb
251RO5Prince or king adj. + adv. (“… flush” in poker)
251RO7Prince or king adj. + adv. (“… flush” in poker)

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.