Bee Roots for 2022-02-11

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/ABEOLZ
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 189
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: 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, ...)
11AB5Nautical or aviation term for “opposite the middle,” adv.
121AB6(Of a plant) produce flowers
41AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
21AM5Blow away with awe
31AM5Walk at a slow, relaxed pace
51AM5Single-celled organism that can change its shape
52AM6Single-celled organism that can change its shape
51AM7Single-celled organism that can change its shape
61BA4Soothing ointment (lip …)
71BA6Panda’s primary food
81BA9Fool or cheat someone
91BE4Ray of light (sun…), noun; or Star Trek transport method (“…me up, Scotty”), verb
101BL4Exclamation used to represent a loud sharp sound, as of a gunshot or explosion
111BL5Assign fault to someone or something
121BL5(Of a plant) produce flowers
131BO4It explodes, noun/verb
151BO4Sound of explosion or subwoofer
141BO5Frozen dome-shaped dessert similar to above
161EM6Preserve a corpse from decay
181EM6(Heraldic) symbol or badge (of a nation)
171EM8Steal money you were trusted with
191LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
201LA4A young sheep; Mary had a little one
211LA4Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
221LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
231LL5S Am camel
241LO4Fertile, sandy soil
251LO4Cloth weaving device
261MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
271MA4Shopping mecca
291MA4♀ parent, slang
331MA4Puzzle or garden where you try to get to the center
291MA5♀ parent, slang
301MA5Venomous African green or black snake
311MA5Cuban dance, NOT an African snake
321MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
281MA9Material, usually metal, that can be hammered or pressed into shape
341ME4Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
361ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
371ME4Office note abbr.
381ME4Mediterranean appetizer platter
351ME5Confusing scuffle
381ME5Mediterranean appetizer platter
391ME5Voice between soprano and alto
401MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
411MO4Mobster’s ♀
291MO5♀ parent, slang
421MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
431ZO4travel quickly, or change between close-up and long shot, or a popular video conferencing platform

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.