Bee Roots for 2022-02-07

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/CEILOT
  • Words: 41
  • Points: 159
  • 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, ...)
11BE4Borscht veg
31BE4It rings
51BE4It holds your pants up
41BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
61BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
331BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
21BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
341BE8Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
91BI4Liver secretion, or anger
101BI4Invoice, or actor Murray
131BI4Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
81BI5Holy book (starts with Genesis)
111BI6Temp soldier lodging
121BI6Relating to or resulting from living things
71BI7Beautiful trinket, from French (word looks similar to holy book)
141BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
151BL4Group of like-minded voters
161BL4Stain (on your record), noun; or dry using absorbent material (forehead dampness), verb
171BL6Slang for drunk
201BO4Heat water to 212° F or 100°C
211BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
221BO4Western string tie
231BO4Runner Usain, or what you screw into a nut
241BO4Breast, slang
261BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
192BO5Italian game similar to lawn bowling
181BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
251BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
272BO6Baby foot covering
281BO6Baby milk feeder
291CE5Person who’s well-known, slang abbr.
301CO6Repair or make, especially shoes; make or put together roughly or hastily
311CO11Worth acquiring by people doing above (baseball cards, comic books, figurines, etc.), or due for present payment (credit card bills, e.g.); pangram adj.
321LI5Printed slander, noun
321LI7Printed slander, noun
351LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
361LO4Wolf, Spanish
371OB4Death write-up in newspaper, slang abbr.
381OB4Double 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.