Bee Roots for 2022-01-06

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: B/ALMNTU
  • Words: 27
  • Points: 94
  • 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, ...)
11AB4Be next to; share a common border
21AL5Blank book where you can keep your pictures; collection of songs for sale (The White …)
31AM8Able to walk around; not confined to bed
41BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
51BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper
61BA4Soothing ointment (lip …)
81BA5Unoriginal, dull
91BA6Common yellow plantain variety
101BA6Small chicken breed or boxing weight class
111BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
121BL4Exclamation used to represent a loud sharp sound, as of a gunshot or explosion
131BL4Make a sound like a sheep, goat, or calf; slang
151BL5(Of a knife) not sharp, or (of talk) frank; adj. or hollowed-out cigar filled with pot, noun
141BL7Bad behavior, open and unashamed
171BU4Light-producing globe, head of garlic, or what you plant to get a tulip
181BU4♂ cow
191BU4Tap a baseball instead of swinging
201BU4Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
161BU5Southern good ole boy
211LA4A young sheep; Mary had a little one
221MA5Venomous African green or black snake
231NU4Not able to feel
241NU6Australian marsupial anteater with stripes
251TA5Indian small drum pair; NOT dining room furniture
261TU4Biggest brass instrument; Sousaphone
271TU5Adj. relating to flexible pipes, esp. Fallopian ones (… ligation)
71UN5Prohibit, verb

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.