Bee Roots for 2021-12-28

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: Y/AGINRT
  • Words: 40
  • Points: 208
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
11AI4Spacious, well-lit, & well-ventilated (room); or breezy (attitude); adj.
21AN5Feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility, noun/verb
41AR4Creative activity: painting, music, literature, dance, etc
31AR5Ordered series, esp. math
31AR8Ordered series, esp. math
51GA6Bridge-like overhead structure with a platform; or a framework for servicing a rocket prior to launch
91GR4Black & while shade (50 of them?)
61GR6Cereal crop used as food, wheat for example; pattern of fibers in wood, paper or fabric
81GR6Your parent's mother (familiar)
101GR6Small loose particles of stone or sand, or courage & resolve; “True …” 1969 & 2010 Western
71GR7Storage for threshed cereals
91GR7Black & while shade (50 of them?)
111GY8Move in a circle or spiral, especially quickly; or dance wildly or suggestively
121IN7Stupid, silly, ridiculous (… questions or comments); adj.
131IT4Really small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
161NA4Dialectic negation (I survived with … a scratch)
141NA5Annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
151NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
171NA5Well dressed, adj.
151NA8♀ goat, or nursemaid
181NI5Foolish or silly person
191RA5Liquid precipitation
201RA5Tall and slim with long, slender limbs, adj.
221RA5Sewer-dwelling rodent
211RA6Uncommon; steak served with red inside
231RA6Stream of light
241TA5Strong taste, flavor, or smell; astronaut orange juice
251TA5Dark, thick, flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal
271TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
261TA8Linger, verb; or full of pitch, adj.
301TI4Very small, adj., “Christmas Carol” kid
291TI5Silvery-white metal, atomic number 50 (Cat on a Hot … Roof)
311TR4Use it to carry drinks
331TR6Make an attempt, verb/noun
321TR7Christian doctrine of God in three persons; or first test of a nuclear bomb
281TY5Fasten with string or cord, verb/noun
341TY6Cruel and/or oppressive ruler
341TY7Cruel and/or oppressive ruler
351YA4Representing heaven, positivity, masculinity, and activity (Chinese philosopy)
361YA4Knitting thread, or wild story

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.