Bee Roots for 2022-01-17

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/ILMNOU
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 151
  • 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, ...)
11IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
21IN6TurboTax company, or know by feeling rather than evidence
21IN9TurboTax company, or know by feeling rather than evidence
41LI4Singsong accent
61LI4Dryer fluff
51LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
71LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
101LO4Uncouth & aggressive ♂, noun
91LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
81LO6Moisturizing or suntan cream
111MI4Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
121MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
131MO4Shed feathers, hair, or skin; verb
151MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
171MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
181MO5Get on a horse, or geographical name start (St. Helens, Shasta, Everest)
161MO6Action by which things change position, or parliamentary proposal; noun
141MO7Illuminated by the nighttime orb, adj.
211MU4Mixed-breed dog, slang
221MU6Sheep meat (chops)
201MU8Military weapons & supplies (factory)
191MU12More than one thousand-thousands (the new road was a …-dollar project)
231NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
241OM4Leave out, verb
251ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
261TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
271TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
281TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
291TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)
301TO4Road use fee (collected at a booth)
321TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
331TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car-…)
341TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
351TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
311TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
391TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
381TU5All together, musically (Italian); Little Richard “Wop bop a loo bop” song
371TU6Loud, confused crowd noise; or disorder; noun
361TU7College fee
401UN4Something whole on its own but part of larger thing (apartment, Army squad, e.g.)
421UN4Archaic preposition (Handel’s Messiah “For … us a child is born”)
31UN5Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
411UN5Up to, preposition or conjunction (You have…5 pm to finish)

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.