Bee Roots for 2022-01-04

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: H/AENOPT
  • Words: 39
  • Points: 150
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: By Anand2202, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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, ...)
21ET6Two-carbon chain
41HA4Dislike intensely, verb/noun
51HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
61HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
71HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
81HE4Warm up in the oven, verb; or extreme warmth, noun
91HE5Candy bar with toffee & milk chocolate, actor Ledger, or British field
111HE5Hair or temp. tattoo dye
101HE7Infidel; pagan; outside any widely held religion
121HE7Seven-carbon chain
131HO4Sharpen (a blade or skill)
141HO4O you jump through or spin around your waist (hula …)
151HO4Owl sound
161HO4Fervently wish (I … it doesn’t rain today)
171HO6Asian dish similar to fondue; AKA steamboat; compound
11NE5Under; below (drop the first syllable for a dated literary form)
181NE8Fictional medicine for sorrow
191OA4Vow or pledge (you’re under one in court testimony)
201OP4Sunfish, kingfish, Jerusalem haddock, or redfin ocean pan; close to TV queen with her OWN network & magazine
221PA4Walking or bike trail
211PA8All the gods of a religion (pangram)
231PE6♀ of a bird with showy plumage
241PH4“Excellent” in hip-hop slang, NOT obese
251PH5Device to make calls (tele…)
261PH5Record player, slang abbr.
271PH5Picture made using a camera, slang abbr.
281PH6Smallest unit of light
291PO4Christopher Robbins’ Winnie The … Bear
301TE5What you use to chew, plural
321TE5Between nine and eleven
311TE6When the things you use to chew start to emerge, you chew on everything, and you drool all the time
331TH4Comparison word (smaller…a breadbox)
351TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
361TH4Archaic form of “you”
371TH4At that time, or next; adv. (not always, but every now & …)
341TH5Feudal lord, ranking between an ordinary freeman and a hereditary noble
381TH58th Greek letter, Θ
391TO5What you chew with

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.