Bee Roots for 2022-02-05

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/BGIKNP
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 224
  • 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, ...)
31BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
41BE4Car horn sound, noun/verb
61BE5Start, verb (also Israeli PM)
71BE5Pale sandy yellowish-brown color
81BE6Med. term for “not harmful” (…tumor)
41BE7Car horn sound, noun/verb
61BE9Start, verb (also Israeli PM)
21BE10Apiculture (honey farming); gerund pangram
101BI42–wheel cycle
111BI5Overindulge (…-watch Netflix); verb/noun
91BI6Opposite of small
111BI8Overindulge (…-watch Netflix); verb/noun
121EB6Recede, especially
131EG6What baby birds hatch from
141EK5Scrape out (a living or a win, e.g.)
151EN6Car motor
161EP4Fencing sword
171GE4Enthusiast or expert (computer or band…)
181GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
192GE5Lives in a lamp, grants wishes
201GI4Insulting or mocking remark, noun/verb
211IN5Concave belly button, slang
221KE4Eager (peachy-…), adj.; or wail in grief
231KE4Retain (an item)
241KE4Flat-topped French military hat that de Gaulle wore
221KE7Eager (peachy-…), adj.; or wail in grief
231KE7Retain (an item)
251KN4Mid-leg joint, noun; or hit someone with one, verb
251KN7Mid-leg joint, noun; or hit someone with one, verb
261NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
271NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
281NI7Bowling variation with 1 target less than standard; compound
301PE4Quick furtive look (…-a-boo baby game), not mountaintop
311PE4Backside of a hammer
321PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
341PE4Chinese toy dog, slang abbr., not mountaintop
361PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
291PE6Urinate, slang
301PE7Quick furtive look (…-a-boo baby game), not mountaintop
321PE7Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
331PE7short cylindrical piece of wood for holding things together, noun/verb
351PE7Tool for writing with ink, noun/verb
371PE7Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
391PI4“Star Trek” Enterprise captain (Christopher) before Kirk, pointy stick weapon, or “highway” slang abbr.
401PI4Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
421PI4Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
381PI6Messy Peanuts boy, or where oinkers live
411PI6Little finger (starts with above color)

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.