Bee Roots for 2021-11-28

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, ...)
21AG4Old fashioned word for illness involving fever and shivering
11AG5Tequila plant source
31AL4Pond scum
32AL5Pond scum
41AL6Claim without proof
51EA5A bald one is the national bird
61EG4What baby birds hatch from
71EL5Poem that’s a lament for the dead
81GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
101GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
111GA4Strong wind storm
121GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
141GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
161GA4Handed over, past tense verb ("I … at the office")
141GA5Measuring dial (fuel …)
171GA5Judge's hammer
181GA5Homosexual (used especially of a man); lighthearted and carefree (dated)
91GA6A “herd” of geese
131GA6Ship or plane kitchen
151GA6Force-feeding through a tube, noun
191GE5(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
201GL4Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
211GL4Adhesive substance; noun/verb
221GL4Drink or pour liquid & make a hollow sound, verb
211GL5Adhesive substance; noun/verb
251GU4Noisy shore bird
231GU5Tropical fruit
241GU5Soviet labor camp
261GU5Ravine formed by water; add a letter to seabird above
271LA5Fall behind; verb/noun
281LA6Literary or medical term for washing a body part
321LA8Dawdle, slang (ends in “mouth covering” synonym)
301LE5Body part that connects the rest of you to your feet
311LE5Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
291LE6Group of sports teams that compete; or archaic measure of distance, usually about three miles
311LE7Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
331LU4High-speed sled you ride on your back
341LU7Suitcases and carry-ons
351UG4Hideous in appearance, adj.
361VA5Uncertain, unclear, approximate (… hints)
361VA7Uncertain, unclear, approximate (… hints)

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.