Bee Roots for 2021-12-11

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, ...)
21FA5Earth fracture where quakes happen (San Andreas…), or weakness; noun
11FA7Destiny, kismet, 1 of 3 Greek goddesses who determine yours
41FL4Chimney duct, NOT a seasonal illness
51FL5Dryer lint, noun, or what you do to a flat pillow (… up)
61FL5High-pitched wind instrument (Mozart's opera The Magic …)
31FL6Rolled tortilla resembling a shrill wind instrument, or the instrument in Spanish
71FU4Gasoline or oil, e.g., noun; or add it to a tank (… up)
81FU4At capacity (I can’t finish the meal, I’m …), adj.
101HA4Schlep; rent a “U” one when moving to new home
111HA5“High” in French (… cuisine, couture), adj.
91HA7Dislike intensely, verb/noun
121HE9Physical well-being (in sickness & in …)
131HU4Fit of petty annoyance
141HU4Polynesian dance, or hoop you twirl around your waist
151HU4Base of ship, or skin of nuts, present + past
161LU4Hawaiian BBQ
171LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
181LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
191LU4Older guitar relative
201LU6Phase between ovulation & start of menstruation; anatomy adj.; begins with old guitar relative
211TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
231TU4Clump of hair that sticks up
261TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
241TU5Lightweight, stiff veil or gown fabric
251TU5Private instructor
221TU6Footstool or low seat (where Little Miss Muffet sat)
271UL7Make a high-pitched wail as an expression of grief, imitative verb

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.