Bee Roots for 2022-02-08

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: M/AGIJNU
  • Words: 39
  • Points: 212
  • 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, ...)
11AI6Point at a target
21AN5Jungian term for inner ♀ part of ♂
41GA5Archaic word for a ♂ street urchin, from French
51GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
31GA6Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
71GU6♂ who wields a firearm (compound)
61GU7Skin around your teeth; something you chew but don't swallow
101IM4Prayer leader at mosque
81IM7Picture or other representation of a person or thing (mirror … is that thing reversed), or public perception of a celebrity or company (polish their…), noun
91IM9Form a mental picture or concept; or John Lennon's 1971 album and title song
111JA7Squeeze or pack tightly, verb/noun (often happens to paper in a printer or copier)
121MA4The 3 biblical wise ♂, Latin plural
151MA4Permanently injure
161MA4Primary (Street), adj.
171MA4♀ parent, slang
131MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
171MA5♀ parent, slang
201MA5Japanese graphic novels
211MA5Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
221MA5Exodus food from the sky
141MA6Wine bottle of twice the standard size
151MA7Permanently injure
181MA7Adult ♂
191MA8Administer (she got promoted to …ment)
251MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
261MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
231MI6Silent performer
241MI6Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
271MI6Smallest amount (the … bet at this table is $100)
271MI7Smallest amount (the … bet at this table is $100)
291MU4Small round green bean native to India, noun
301MU6Loose, brightly-colored Hawaiian dress with a double name
281MU7Large cup, used without a saucer; slang term for a person's face
311NA6What you’re called (Kevin or Susan, e.g.)
321UM5Savory taste, noun, from Japanese
111UN5Squeeze or pack tightly, verb/noun (often happens to paper in a printer or copier)
181UN5Adult ♂
111UN9Squeeze or pack tightly, verb/noun (often happens to paper in a printer or copier)
181UN9Adult ♂

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.