Bee Roots for 2022-01-03

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: T/FIMORY
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 90
  • 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, ...)
11FI5Number of US states
21FO4What you cover with a sock
31FO4Military post (Lee or Dix in NJ, e.g.)
41FO5Number of US states after admission of South Dakota
31FO7Military post (Lee or Dix in NJ, e.g.)
51IT4Really small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
61MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
71MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
91MO5Distinctive feature in an artistic or literary composition
101MO5Device (electric or gasoline) that produces movement (in a car, e.g.)
111MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
81MO7Cause someone to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated
121OM4Leave out, verb
131RI4Crack in the earth, or breach in relations (Oculus … VR)
141RI4Civil unrest, noun; or to rampage, verb
151RO4Plant anchor that sucks up water
161RO4Indian flatbread that isn’t naan
171RO5Device or blade that spins
181TI4Petty quarrel, or computer image format
211TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
231TO4Bull, Spanish
241TO4Legal wrong, NOT pastry
251TO4Donut shape
221TO5Shinto shrine gate, NOT double plural of donut shapes
201TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
191TO8Absolute nonsense (dated)
261TR4Neaten (hair) by snipping off ends
271TR4Musical group of 3 (Kingston …)
281TR4Fast walking pace for horses or people
291TR4Helen of “The Iliad” home, or oz. for gold & gems
301TY4Newbie, from Latin “recruit”

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.