Bee Roots for 2022-01-27

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: Y/AELMNT
  • Words: 39
  • Points: 210
  • 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, ...)
31AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
11AL5Put (fears) at rest
21AL5Narrow passageway between buildings. (… cat, …-oop)
41AM4Abbr. for … nitrite "poppers" you sniff at a rave; or C₅H₁₁ on its own
51AN6Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body
61EE4Snake-like fish
71EL11The periodic table is full of these (singular)
81EN5Wartime foe
91EY6Small round hole for shoelaces or strings; diminutive of sight organ
101LA6Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
111LA6Running behind (I’m … for class), or deceased (The … Charles Grodin)
142LA6Non-ordained or amateur ♂ (“In …’s terms”)
131LA7Set of clothing & accessories for a newborn
121LA8Capable of emerging, developing, or becoming active in the future (a … fingerprint)
151LE6Not fatty (…meat), adj.; or incline (…back in your chair)
181MA4More than a few (… people are saying)
161MA5Convert grain for brewing (…–ED milk), noun/verb + adj.
171MA5Adult ♂
191MA5Fellow member (cast-…) or joint occupant (room-…)
201ME5Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
211ME5The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
221ME5Animal flesh for consumption (beef, ham, etc.)
231ME5What ice cream does when you leave it out of the freezer, verb
211ME6The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
241ME8Relating to the mind (He has … health issues)
251MY4Talking starling that’s often a pet
271NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
281NA5Well dressed, adj.
261NA6What you’re called (Kevin or Susan, e.g.)
301NE5UK outhouse, slang; or butterfly & fish mesh catcher adj.
311TA5Add up (keep a running …, or …–Ho! The quarry is in sight)
331TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
321TA6Not wild, adj./verb
341TE5Minuscule, or trendy youth (…-bopper)
351YE4Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel…”)
362YE5Matchmaker or gossip, Yiddish

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.