Bee Roots for 2022-01-15

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/ACORTU
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 230
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
11AC5What a sneeze sounds like
21AR4Curved span
31AR5Buddhist who has achieved nirvana; ends in “cap” synonym
41AT6Fasten 2 things together
71CA5Intercept & hold (a fish, a thrown ball, e.g.)
61CA7Excessive buildup of mucus; sounds like feline + PITCH; has double R
81CH4Partially burn & blacken, verb
101CH4Informal conversation, noun or verb (online … room, group …)
91CH5Nautical map, or pictorial data representation (pie, bar …)
111CH6Place Christians pray
121CH6Spanish sweet fried dough
141CO4Silver Pacific salmon
131CO5Athletic instructor or trainer, noun/verb; bus, noun
161CO5Sofa, noun; express in a specific style of language, verb
171CO5Cultured, refined, and well mannered, adj.; opposite (un-…) is much more common
151CO6A sidekick, or Roman military unit of 6 centuries (1/10 legion)
191CR6Bend or squat (down)
201CR6Broken leg walking aid
211CU9Fierce & ruthless (competition); what Jack the Ripper did to victims; contains list word; compound pangram
221HA4♂ deer, not ♥
241HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
231HA5Emerge from an egg, verb
251HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
261HO4Crystallized frost
291HO4Owl sound
301HO4Jewish circle dance (“The …”)
331HO460 minutes
271HO5Cheap liquor
281HO6US Marine cheer word, each syllable pronounced separately
321HO6Scary Steven King genre
311HO8Milky drink made from ground almonds, tiger nuts, or rice
351HU4Injure(physically or emotionally), verb/adj.
361HU5Rabbit cage, or open cabinet with shelves
341HU6Cheer word (hip-hip …)
371OA4Vow or pledge (you’re under one in court testimony)
381OU4Sound you make when something hurts
391RO5Scurrying insect; often starts with COCK–
401TA4Dashboard engine RPM gauge abbr.
411TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
431TH4Archaic singular “you” (“Romeo, wherefore art …”)
421TH6Straw roof covering
441TH6Front of neck, “Deep…” Watergate source
451TO5What you chew with
461TO51st 5 books of Bible in scroll form for Jews
471TO5“Tiki” flame holder
481TO5Come into or be in contact with
491TR5Archaic var. of “honesty”; you pledge your … in marriage vows
501TR5Honesty (“… or dare”)

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.