Bee Roots for 2021-11-24

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, ...)
21LE5Pause or reduction in intensity of something unpleasant (storm, traffic), compound noun
41LO4Uncouth & aggressive ♂, noun
31LO5Magnifying glass without a handle, homophone of curve that crosses itself above, noun
51LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
61LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
71LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de…”)
91LU4Older guitar relative
81LU7½–moon shaped architectural space, starts with above; from French “little moon”
101NO4In grammar, a person, place or thing
111NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
131OP7Ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish, pangram adj.
141OU6Electric power receptacle where you insert a plug
161OU6Results of computer processing
151OU7Is more popular in a survey (The front-runner continues to…his rivals, according to Gallup), compound verb
181PE62nd to last syllable in a word; remove suffix from more common term for 2nd to last
211PO4Push your lower lip out because you're annoyed
201PO5Young fowl being raised for food; remove suffix from term for chicken meat
191PO7Emit smoke into the air or toxins into the water (give a hoot, don’t…), verb
221PU4Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
231PU4Tug on, verb
261PU4Soft, wet, shapeless mass (“…Fiction” film), or floating bits of fruit in orange juice
271PU4Football drop-kick, flat-bottomed boat, Irish £ (slang)
301PU4Hit a golf ball gently on the green
241PU6Young hen; starts with above
281PU6Marionette, but no strings (Elmo, e.g.)
291PU6The act of retiring a batter or runner (baseball)
251PU7Magazine section designed to be detached, sleeper sofa, or a troop withdrawal; compound noun; starts with list word; also an iffy birth control method (coitus interruptus)
331TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
321TO6Hairpiece worn to cover a bald spot
311TO7Aromatic hydrocarbon C₇H₈ used in TNT explosive
351TU4Sync the pitch of instruments before concerts
401TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
341TU5Lightweight, stiff veil or gown fabric
391TU5Private instructor
361TU6Periodic car maintenance, compound (oil change, tire rotation, etc.)
371TU6Artificial underground passage (Lincoln or Holland…from NJ to Manhattan, e.g.)
381TU6City where Elvis was born, or tree used as a honey plant in the Gulf Coast
411UN4Archaic preposition (Handel’s Messiah “For … us a child is born”)
11UN5Allow; rent
171UN5Tool for writing with ink, noun/verb
121UN6Pull on a door handle to gain admittance, verb + adv. (publicly) (2 words)
351UN6Sync the pitch of instruments before concerts
421UP4Fairy tale-starting preposition (“Once…a time”)

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.