Bee Roots for 2021-12-16

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, ...)
21AC4Trendy smoothie berry
41AC4Teen facial zits
31AC5Get a top grade on a test
11AC6African or Australian wattle tree
61AL8Association formed for mutual benefit, especially involving nations
51AL10Loyalty or commitment (Pledge of …)
71AN7Harp-playing winged heaven resident, or Xmas tree topper
81AN8Tall aromatic plant of the parsley family, with large leaves and yellowish-green flowers
91CA4Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
101CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
161CA4Walking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
111CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
131CA5Artificial waterway (Erie, Suez, Panama …)
181CA5Tropical “lily”
91CA6Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
141CA6Leggy French dance
151CA6Nix, scrub (a concert, game, date, or show; e.g.)
161CA6Walking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
171CA6Dog family, or pointy tooth
101CA7Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
121CA7Cylindrical metal container, noun; be capable, verb, fire from a job (slang verb)
151CA9Nix, scrub (a concert, game, date, or show; e.g.)
151CA10Nix, scrub (a concert, game, date, or show; e.g.)
191CA10Large white kidney bean
221CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
231CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument
211CE6Gluten intolerance disease
201CE7The top of a room
241CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
251CL4Group of related (Scottish) families
261CL5Make a ringing sound (Judy Garland “…, …, … went the trolley”)
271CL5Make tidy, verb (…your room, young man!); or dirt-free, adj.
281CL5Stick to tightly (static …), as Saran Wrap or a needy toddler
291CL6Medical facility (health …)
261CL8Make a ringing sound (Judy Garland “…, …, … went the trolley”)
271CL8Make tidy, verb (…your room, young man!); or dirt-free, adj.
281CL8Stick to tightly (static …), as Saran Wrap or a needy toddler
291CL8Medical facility (health …)
291CL9Medical facility (health …)
311EL7Poem that’s a lament for the dead
301EL8Graceful and stylish in appearance or manner
91EN6Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
391EN6Frilly fabric, or shoestring
91EN8Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
391EN8Frilly fabric, or shoestring
321GL5French for “ice,” or coat fruit with sugar syrup to look “icéd”
341GL6Take a brief or hurried look (parting…)
331GL7Slow “pace,” as in a moving mass of ice, adj.
341GL8Take a brief or hurried look (parting…)
351IC5Frozen water
361IC6Frozen water spear from drips
371IL5Hip bone
381IN7Tend toward or feel favorably disposed toward, verb; or slope, noun
381IN9Tend toward or feel favorably disposed toward, verb; or slope, noun
301IN10Graceful and stylish in appearance or manner
391LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
401LA4Non-cleric + non-clerical
411LA5Cavalry pole weapon
391LA6Frilly fabric, or shoestring
401LA6Non-cleric + non-clerical
391LA7Frilly fabric, or shoestring
421LE8Merciful, not strict (as a judge or parent, e.g.)
431LI4Itchy hair parasites
441LI5Purple flower or shade
451NE10Failing to take proper care in doing something
471NI4Pleasant in manner, or city in SE France
481NI5Your sibling’s daughter
461NI6Vitamin B3

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.