Bee Roots for 2021-12-17

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, ...)
11DE6Give a large part of one's time or resources
181DE6Not valid or legally binding; or, completely empty
12DE7Give a large part of one's time or resources
21DI4Jump headfirst into water
21DI5Jump headfirst into water
41DI5Chunk of grass knocked loose by a golf swing
31DI6Separate into parts, or ÷ math operation
31DI7Separate into parts, or ÷ math operation
51DI7Break into parts for sharing (… up the proceeds)
61DO4Pigeon family, chocolate brand, or jumped headfirst into water
71IV5Climbing plant with shiny, dark green five-pointed leaves (… League)
81OV5Egg shaped
91PE5Annoy or irritate
91PE6Annoy or irritate
101PI5Central point of a turn
101PI7Central point of a turn
111VE4Vice president (informal)
131VE4Presidential rejection of a Congressional bill, noun/verb
121VE6Person with combat experience, noun; check credentials, verb
131VE6Presidential rejection of a Congressional bill, noun/verb
161VI4Compete eagerly
141VI5Good friend of audio; the V in A/V
171VI5Producing powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind (a … memory); or, of a color, intensely deep or bright
151VI6Habitual, undiscriminating watcher of television or tapes
141VI7Good friend of audio; the V in A/V
181VO4Not valid or legally binding; or, completely empty
201VO4What you do on Election Day, noun/verb
201VO5What you do on Election Day, noun/verb
181VO6Not valid or legally binding; or, completely empty
191VO6Haitian religion with pincushion dolls
211VO6Pledged (offering), adj. (she lit a…candle at the altar)

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.