Bee Roots for 2021-12-02

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, ...)
11AN4Soon, poetically
41MA5Exodus food from the sky
51MA5Ray (fish)
21MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
31MA9NY City borough containing Wall St.
61MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
71MO41–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
91MO4NASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
81MO5February is the shortest one
101NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
111NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
121NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
131NO412:00, midday, 🕛
141ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
151OT7Turkish Empire; or low, upholstered seat or footstool without a back or arms
171PA4What a dog does when it’s hot, verb; or singular of trousers, noun
161PA6Cent. Am. country with a canal & hat
191PH5Record player, slang abbr.
201PH6Smallest unit of light
181PH7Tragic figure who haunts Paris Opera House, pangram
211PO7Marine game fish, or “...Beach,” city N of Ft. Lauderdale
221PO7Temp floating bridge
231TA6It collects menstrual flow
241TH4Comparison word (smaller…a breadbox)
251TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car-…)

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.