Bee Roots for 2022-01-28

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/ACKOUT
  • Words: 30
  • Points: 121
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Winslow Homer, via Wikipedia

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, ...)
41AB4Be next to; share a common border
11AB5Surprised (taken …), adv.
21AB5Head monk, perhaps at Downton
31AB5Regarding, preposition
51BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
71BA4Part of body containing your spine
61BA5Sweet braided Jewish bread, often with chocolate filling
81BA6African tree
91BO4Small ship, as in “tug-”
101BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
121BO4Dark German lager, or chicken sound
131BO4Breast, slang
151BO4Printed novel
161BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
171BO4Short period (… of insomnia or depression, e.g.), or wrestling or boxing match
111BO6Wild feline larger than a pet, with ♂ name at start
141BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
191BU4♂ deer, noun; what a horse or bull does to throw off a rider, verb; one US dollar (slang)
211BU4Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
181BU5Southern good ole boy
201BU5Young ♂ archaic slang, from ♂ deer term
221BU7Anatomical term for ass cheek
231CA7“Feline” small ship, with 1 sail at bow, compound
241CO8Bound, printed recipes (e.g. Fanny Farmer’s), compound
251CU7Deliberate reduction, especially of expenditures (compound: make an incision + opposite of front) (bureaucrats hate budget …s)
261KA5Grilled meat or veg on a stick, spelling var.
271OU7Remote, uninhabited region of Australia, or “Steakhouse,” compound pangram
281TA5Forbidden, cultural no-nos
291TO7Cigarette, cigar, or pipe filler
301TU4Biggest brass instrument; Sousaphone

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.