Bee Roots for 2021-11-29

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, ...)
31AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
21AN6Ceremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
11AN9Bring to life (cartoons), verb; or living, adj.
271AN10Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
41AT4Smallest unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
51AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana)
61AT7Archaic verb meaning to corrupt
71AV8Pilot or fly in a plane, verb (from Latin for bird)
81IM9Copy someone’s speech or mannerisms
121IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
91IN10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
101IN10Introduce or invent new ideas, products, or methods
111IN10Extremely close & personal (… apparel)
131IN10Ask someone to a party
411IN10Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
141IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
161MA5Ray (fish)
151MA8Keep up (appearances), or support; verb
171MI4Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
181MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
191MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
201MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
231MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
211MO6Action by which things change position, or parliamentary proposal; noun
221MO10Reason for doing something
241NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
251NA6Country, or temperance activist Carrie
281NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
271NO8Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
261NO10Propose a candidate for election or an honor
291OM4Leave out, verb
301ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
311OT7Turkish Empire; or low, upholstered seat or footstool without a back or arms
321OV7Loud prolonged applause
331TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
341TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
351TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
361TA6Skin “ink”
371TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
381TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
421TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car-…)
431TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
391TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
401TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
441VI7Nutritional substance such as A & B6, or pill such as Centrum
451VO5Eject matter from the stomach through the mouth, verb/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.