Bee Roots for 2021-12-03

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, ...)
61AB4Be next to; share a common border
11AB5Head monk, perhaps at Downton
31AB5Call off (a mission or takeoff, e.g.)
41AB5Regarding, preposition
21AB6Train conductor cry: “All …!” (“Get on now!”)
51AB6Overseas (go …)
71AD5Filipino stew or Mexican seasoning
81AO5Main blood pipe from heart
91AR5Tree garden; its “Day” is April 30 this year
101AR5Passion (Latin “to burn”)
111AT5Flower oil for perfume
121AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
141AU4Car, abbr., or “self” prefix
131AU6Polar lights (… Borealis)
151BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
171BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
181BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
191BA4Unit of data modulation speed, once commonly used for dial-up connections
161BA6African tree
201BO4Wild pig
221BO4Small ship, as in “tug-”
231BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
211BO5Plank of wood, noun; or get on a vehicle, verb
241BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
251BR4Badly behaved child; or a type of sausage (…wurst)
261BR5Wide, or slang term for ♀, adj. + adv.
271BU5Southern good ole boy
281BU7Cheese made from mozzarella and cream
291DA4Spike thrown at a board
311DA4Facts & stats, computer info, or Star Trek Next Gen android
321DA4Coat, smear, verb (mud …er wasp)
301DA9Target for small pointy missiles thrown in bars or basements
331DO6Thingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
341DO6“Old & feeble” insult used by N Korea about our former pres.
351DR4Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
361DR4Mild exclamation of annoyance used by cartoon villains, anagram of spike thrown at board
371OR6Make a speech
381OU8Toward the outside of a boat, ship, or aircraft, adv. (… motor)
391RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
401RA7Machine gun sound
411RO4Street ("Abbey …"), or “rocky …” ice cream flavor
421RO4Lion “shout”
431RO7Move in a circle around an axis or center
471TA4Asian veg that sounds like next word
491TA4Open filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
521TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
451TA5Forbidden, cultural no-no
461TA5Small drum used to accompany a pipe or fife played by the same person
481TA5Fortunetelling cards
441TA6Sleeveless jerkin consisting only of front and back pieces with a hole for the head
501TA6Fish sauce, or tooth buildup
511TA6Skin “ink”
531TO4Frog cousin
541TR10French medieval lyric poet
551TU4Biggest brass instrument; Sousaphone

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.