Bee Roots for 2021-12-12

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, ...)
31DI4Pickle spice
51DI4Dent (a … on the car door), or 1st ½ of doorbell sound
41DI6Eat at a restaurant
61DI6Jump headfirst into water, present + past (2 words)
21DI7Make a hole in the ground; enjoy (slang)
51DI7Dent (a … on the car door), or 1st ½ of doorbell sound
11DI8Pass time aimlessly or unproductively
71DI8Separate into parts, or ÷ math operation, present + past + slang past (they...up the proceeds) (3 words)
81DI8Of, from, or like God or a god (to forgive is…), adj.; or figure out from a hunch or prophesy, present + past verbs (2 words)
91DI9Disclose or reveal something private
121DU4Not shiny, adjective/verb
141DU4Animal manure
111DU6Slang for “guy” (Aerosmith “… Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
121DU7Not shiny, adjective/verb
131DU7Make persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
151GI4Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
151GI7Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
161GL7What an engineless plane does (hanging optional), or dental floss brand
181GU5Medieval craftsman or merchant association
171GU7Synonym for lead the way, verb/noun
191ID6Not doing anything
201IN9Allow oneself to enjoy something
211LI5Furiously angry
221NU7Prod gently, verb/noun
101UN5Perform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
231VI5Producing powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind (a … memory); or, of a color, intensely deep or bright

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.