Bee Roots for 2021-12-29

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: O/ABILMX
  • Words: 33
  • Points: 109
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Discount School Supply

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, ...)
91AB5Heat water to 212° F or 100°C
71AB6(Of a plant) produce flowers
11AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
21AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
31AX5Statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true; a dictum or truism; noun + pangram adj. (2 words)
41BA6Panda’s primary food
51BA6African tree
61BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
71BL5(Of a plant) produce flowers
81BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
91BO4Heat water to 212° F or 100°C
101BO4Thrown weighted string weapon
111BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
131BO4Western string tie
141BO4It explodes, noun/verb
151BO4Breast, slang
171BO4Sound of explosion or subwoofer
121BO6(Vulgar Brit slang), bungle a task, or alt spelling of ‘testicles’ exclamation
161BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
181BO7Loud portable cd player (informal, compound)
201LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
191LI5Uncertain waiting period (in …), a place for a soul not in either Heaven or Hell, or a dance where you bend backwards to pass under a bar
211LO4Fertile, sandy soil
221LO4Wolf, Spanish
231LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
241LO4Cloth weaving device
271MA5Cuban dance, NOT an African snake
251MA7Receptacle for letters you get or send, starts with above, compound pangram noun
281MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
291MO4Mobster’s ♀
261MO5♀ parent, slang
301MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
311OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine

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.