Bee Roots for 2021-12-27

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
  • Letters: M/AGLORU
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 191
  • Pangrams: 1

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
root #answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
21AL4Graduate, noun, Latin abbr.
11AL5Warning (bell)
11AL6Warning (bell)
41AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
51AM5Love in French, noun
351AM6Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
31AM7Mixture or blend (Ag/Hg dental fillings, e.g.)
81AR4Plant genus with → shaped leaves, often called …lilies
61AR5Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
71AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
91GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
111GL4Grab or steal for your own use (… onto), slang verb
131GL4Dejected, morose
121GL5Darkness, or depression (…-y Gus); doubled vowel of above
141GR4Metric mass unit, equal to the mass of one cc of water
171GR5Bride’s ♂ counterpart, noun; or brush & clean yourself or an animal
161GR6Your parent's Mom (informal)
151GR7System of structure rules for a language
181LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
191LL5S Am camel
201LO4Fertile, sandy soil
221LO4Cloth weaving device
211LO8Linguistics term for a sign or char. representing word or phrase (shorthand & Chinese, e.g.)
241MA4Shopping mecca
251MA4♀ parent, slang
281MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
291MA4Wound by tearing & scratching, or Star Wars Sith Lord (Darth...)
231MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
251MA5♀ parent, slang
261MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
271MA9Breast X–ray, ends with metric oz. equiv.
321MO4Mobster’s ♀
341MO4Othello (“The …”), noun; or to tie up a boat, verb
251MO5♀ parent, slang
301MO5Industry bigwig (movie …, media)
311MO5Grinding back tooth
331MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
351MO5Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
361MU4Think over, heat cider or wine, verb; or actor Martin
371MU5Work of art painted directly on a wall
381MU6Soft, indistinct sound (noun/verb)
391MU6Loose, brightly-colored Hawaiian dress with a double name
401RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
411RO4Chamber of a house (kitchen, bed-…, bath-…), noun/verb
421RU5Scuttlebutt, gossip (… has it)

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.