Bee Roots for 2022-01-12

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: E/ILPTVX
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 176
  • 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, ...)
11EL5Select group that’s superior
21EP4Fencing sword
31EV4Wicked (ELO’s “… Woman”, Santana's "… Ways")
51EX4Leave, verb; the door by which you leave, noun
41EX5State of being barred from one’s native country (living in …)
61EX5Kick out, or breathe out air
61EX8Kick out, or breathe out air
71EX9Swear word, pangram
81LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
91LE5Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
101LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
121LI4Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
111LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
131PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
141PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
171PE4Bombard (with snowballs), verb; or animal fur, noun
151PE5Annoy or irritate
181PE5The kind of jury that renders verdicts (from French for small)
161PE6Small, rounded, compressed mass (food, buckshot, rabbit dung)
191PE6Small (French)
201PI4Heap, stack (dirty laundry, raked leaves, etc.), noun/verb
211PI4Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
221PI5Slender tube with a bulb, used to transfer or measure small amounts of liquid in a lab; 2 spellings
231PI5Smallest controllable element on a display device, or Google phone
241PI5Small British fairy (Tinkerbell’s dust)
221PI7Slender tube with a bulb, used to transfer or measure small amounts of liquid in a lab; 2 spellings
251PL4Ballét bénd
291TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
301TE4Short, written message sent by a mobile phone to another one
261TE5Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
281TE5Printers linked by phone before fax machines
261TE6Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
311TE7Fabric (industry)
271TE8Means of sending words to a TV, compound
321TI4Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
351TI5Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb
331TI6Long fur scarf, stole or shawl; or a clerical scarf
341TI6Drink alcohol, verb; or the drink, slang noun
361TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
371VE4Vice president (informal)
381VE4Bride’s face covering
391VE6Soft fabric, developing antler cover, or Lou Reed’s “… Underground” rock band
401VI4Despicable, NOT a small glass container; adj.

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.