Bee Roots for 2022-01-26

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: L/AFINPT
  • Words: 62
  • Points: 262
  • 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, ...)
271AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
11AL7Grass for hay, or Little Rascal
21AN4Uptight, or butt-related; adj.
31AN5Yearly record book
41AP6Horrify (his tasteless jokes … me)
601AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
51FA4Don’t pass a test
61FA4Autumn, noun; or plummet, verb
81FA5Deadly, adj. (“…Attraction” film)
71FA7With a backend in the shape of a device for moving air, compound (… pigeon)
101FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
121FI5Last one (…exam, “… Countdown”)
91FI6Of or due from a son or daughter, adj.
111FI6Obscure noun for a stimulant; starts with above; homophone of Queen Elizabeth’s late husband Prince …
131FI6Ornament at end or top of an object
151FL4Caramel-topped custard
161FL4What Old Glory does in the breeze, or what birds do to their wings to take off; verb
171FL4Having no depth or height (… as a pancake), or ♭ in music (opposite of ♯)
191FL4Turn over pancakes to cook the bottoms, verb; or comedian …Wilson
211FL4Move swiftly & lightly, as a bird, e.g. (... about)
141FL5Swing (arms) wildly
181FL5Michigan city with tainted water, or stone that makes sparks
201FL8Not serious or respectful
101IN6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
221IN7First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
251LA4Put something down
231LA5Hawaiian island or porch
241LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
261LI4Raise up (fork…), not Uber competitor
281LI4Singsong accent
291LI4Dryer fluff
301NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
311NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
321PA4Bucket, NOT white-faced
361PA4Figurative dark cloud, or funeral "bearer"
371PA4Arthropod antenna for touch & taste, or start of medical exam by touch term
381PA5Pontiff adj.
331PA6Traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches, esp. on a beach, noun
341PA7Roof of the mouth
391PA7Small rounded bump on body part such as tongue (from Latin, and/or plural in some puzzles)
351PA8Resembling a royal residence (Buckingham?); spacious & splendid, adj.
411PI4Tablet of medicine
401PI5Rice cooked in broth with spice & veg or meat
421PI7Large duck named for its hind feathers; compound; ends in list word; think “…the...on the donkey” kid’s party game
431PI7Hidden or unsuspected danger
481PL4Detailed proposal (teacher’s lesson …), noun; or prepare in advance, verb
511PL4Construction map; omit end vowel in dish synonym
441PL5Ordinary, unadorned, NOT a 747; adj.
471PL5Hair braid, noun/verb
491PL5It has leaves, roots, & flowers (potted …), noun; or place a seed in the ground, verb
451PL6Legal term for an accusation, or literary noun for a grievance; usually starts with COM–
521PL6Flexible, often has COM– prefix; anagram of legal term for an accusation
501PL8Banana variety
461PL9Person who brings a lawsuit
531TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
551TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
571TA4Ankle bone
561TA6Fringed prayer shawl
541TA7Flat appendage at the end of the body of an aquatic animal (compound)
591TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
601TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
581TI7Common bland-tasting fish

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.