Bee Roots for 2022-01-25

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: B/EHONUY
  • Words: 27
  • Points: 106
  • 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, ...)
11BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
21BO4Hippie chic fashion; anagram of "vagrant"
42BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
71BO4Breast, slang
111BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
51BO5Scottish “attractive” lass, or Prince Charlie adj.
91BO5Seabird with colorful feet, or gag "prize"
31BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
61BO6Small ape related to chimps
81BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
101BO6Weeping sound, slang
131BU4Anchored float serving as a navigation mark, noun + pangram adj. (able to stay afloat) (2 words)
121BU5Cute name for a rabbit (Bugs …),
141EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
141EB5Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
171HO4Tramp, vagrant; anagram of hippie chic fashion
151HO5Leisure activity (gardening, puzzle solving, bird watching, etc.)
161HO6Rhyming compound word: socialize (…with) (rich or powerful people, usually), verb; or Brit oat biscuit
181HO8Insect that makes a sweetener (compound)
191HO8Sweetheart; or spiral sweet roll, usually with cinnamon and nuts, often with raisins (compound, pangram)
211HU5affectionate term for husband
201HU6Chaotic din caused by a crowd of people, rhyming compound noun
221NO4Beginner, gamer slang
231NU5Coarse or lumpy in texture, esp. fabric; adj.
241OB4Heed, verb (unlike a cat, a well-trained dog will … commands to “stay” & “sit”)
251OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument

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.