Bee Roots for 2022-01-21

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/AHLPVU
  • Words: 45
  • Points: 155
  • 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, ...)
11AL51st Hebrew letter, א
21AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
41AP51 of these fruits a day keeps the doctor away
31AP6Ask for a court ruling to be reversed, verb/noun
31AP8Ask for a court ruling to be reversed, verb/noun
51EA4Roof overhang, NOT Adam’s mate
61EP4Fencing sword
71HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
91HA4Possess, or experience (“… a good time!”), verb
81HA5Divide into 2 equal parts (½ as a verb)
101HE4Recover from injury
111HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
131HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
141HE4Satan’s domain
161HE4Assist, verb; or assistance, noun (F1 key on a computer, often)
121HE5Lift or raise a thing with great effort (“… Ho!”)
171HE5Obscure word for tool or weapon handle; start of “Swiss” font name
151HE7Slang spelling of 3–word phrase (the middle connecting word is spelled as it’s pronounced) meaning extremely (he’s a … good guy, it was a … party)
181LA5Jacket edge that’s folded back
201LE4Forceful jump (of faith?), noun/verb
211LE5Depart, verb
221LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
231LE5Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
251PA4White-faced, NOT a bucket
261PA4Put asphalt on a road (… the way)
241PA6Spanish rice, saffron, chicken, and seafood dish
271PE4Repeated bell ringing or laughter
281PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
291PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
301PE5Annoy or irritate
311PL4Urgent request (Mercy!), or court statement of guilt or innocence
321PU4Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
331PU5Immature insect stage
341UP7Suddenly lift something, especially part of the Earth's surface; compound: opposite of down + lift or raise with great effort (usually with -al suffix)
341UP8Suddenly lift something, especially part of the Earth's surface; compound: opposite of down + lift or raise with great effort (usually with -al suffix)
351UV4Pigmented eye layer beneath the white part
361UV6It hangs above your throat at the back of your mouth
371VA4Low area of land between mountains (… of Tears)
401VA4Smoke an e-cig
381VA5What something’s worth (retail … of a used car)
391VA5Device that controls passage of fluid or air (shut-off …, heart …)
411VE4Calf meat (… Parmesan)
421VE4Vice president (informal)
431VU6♀ outer genitals

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.