Bee Roots for 2022-02-17

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. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: Y/ABCEIL
  • Words: 32
  • Points: 161
  • 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, ...)
31AB4Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
21AB5Bldg. occupied by monks or nuns (“Downton …”)
11AB6Office or period of office of a head of monks or nuns (think Downton … PBS show)
191AC7Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
61AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
41AL5Put (fears) at rest
51AL5Narrow passageway between buildings. (… cat, …-oop)
81BE5Fix a rope around a cleat, rock, pin, or other object, to secure it; or stop that, nautical slang
91BE5Stomach, slang
101BI5Polish flat bread roll topped with chopped onions
131BI5♂ goat, or “Piano Man” Joel
121BI7Two-wheeled vehicle you pedal
191BI8Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
111BI10Holy book (starts with Genesis)
141BL6Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
151CA5Taxi driver, slang; usually ends in –IE
161CE8Abstaining from sex, pangram adj. or noun (person who is this)
171CI6Aromatic white-flowered plant of the parsley family, with fernlike leaves
181CL4Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
181CL6Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
191CY5Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
201CY6Regularly repeated, (○ related adj., like a bike’s full name)
191CY8Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
191CY10Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
211EE4Snake-like fish
221EY7Body part you see with
231IC5Frozen water
241IL4not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
251LA4Frilly; adj. for cuff, collar, & sexy underwear fabric
261LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
271YE4Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel…”)

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.