Bee Roots for 2022-01-18

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/AGIMNZ
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 211
  • 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, ...)
141AG5Stare intently, verb + gerund
11AG6How old you are, noun; or grow older, verb; or period of history, noun
31AM4Prayer-ending word
21AM5Blow away with awe
51AN5Japanese cartoon
41AN6Fatigue due to red blood cell shortage
61EG6What baby birds hatch from
71EN5Rectal wash (Fleet, e.g.)
81EN6Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
91EN6Car motor
101EN6Something mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand
81EN8Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
111GA4Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
131GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
141GA4Stare intently, verb + gerund
121GA6Young woman with a mischievous, boyish charm
151GE4Milder form of “Jesus!” exclamation omitting last 2 letters
161GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
172GE5Lives in a lamp, grants wishes
181GI5Slang for an easy answer, or a rude way of saying “hand it over!”
191IM5Picture or other representation of a person or thing (mirror … is that thing reversed), or public perception of a celebrity or company (polish their…), noun
201IM7Form a mental picture or concept; or John Lennon's 1971 album and title song
211IN5Stupid, silly, ridiculous (… questions or comments); adj.
221IN5Concave belly button, slang
241MA4Literary term for a wizard
271MA4Hair on a horse or ♂ lion’s neck
291MA4Puzzle or garden where you try to get to the center
251MA5Native American corn
281MA5Skin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
261MA6Administer (she got promoted to …ment)
231MA8Periodical (“Time,” “Sports Illustrated,”), pangram
301ME4The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
311ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
321ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
341ME4Mediterranean appetizer platter
341ME5Mediterranean appetizer platter
301ME6The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
321ME6Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
331ME6Members of a household (French: … à trois)
301ME7The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
351ME9Intermediate floor between ground level & 1st, or lowest theater balcony
361MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
371MI4Silent performer
381MI4Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
401MI6Rearmost sail & mast on a ship
391MI8Smallest amount (the … bet at this table is $100)
411NA4What you’re called (Kevin or Susan, e.g.)
421NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
431NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
441ZI4Periodical, abbr. (last syllable), esp. fan pub

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.