Bee Roots for 2022-02-18

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: M/AEFLOT
  • Words: 60
  • Points: 206
  • 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, ...)
71AF6Visible part of a fire
11AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
21AT4Smallest unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
31EM5Ham it up as an actor
41FA4Renown, or 1980s movie & TV show about NYC performing arts HS
61FE5Woman in French
51FE6♀, formal term (the sex that can produce offspring)
71FL5Visible part of a fire
81FL8UK term for person with whom you share an apartment, compound
91FO4Mattress material, or beer froth
101LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
111LA4Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
121LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
131LL5S Am camel
141LO4Fertile, sandy soil
151LO4Cloth weaving device
161MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
171MA4Shopping mecca
191MA4Convert grain for brewing (…–ed milk), noun/verb
201MA4♀ parent, slang
221MA4Fellow member (cast-…) or joint occupant (room-…)
201MA5♀ parent, slang
231MA5Dull finish on paint or photos
181MA6Hammer with a large, usually wooden head, used especially for hitting a chisel
211MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
241ME4Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
251ME4Animal flesh for consumption (beef, ham, etc.)
271ME4Encounter (I’m supposed to … him in the park)
291ME4What ice cream does when you leave it out of the freezer, verb
301ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
311ME4Office note abbr.
321ME4Beyond prefix, greek
341ME4Dispense justice (“… out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
281ME5Confusing scuffle
331ME5Hard but malleable material such as iron, steel, bronze, etc
351ME6Person’s ability to cope with adversity (test your…), NOT iron or tin; noun
261ME81970s singer (“I’d Do Anything for Love”), or molded & baked ground beef, compound pangram
361MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
371MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
381MO4Mobster’s ♀
391MO4Shed feathers, hair, or skin; verb
411MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
421MO4Speck of dust
201MO5♀ parent, slang
401MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
431MO5Place to sleep when you’re travelling (…6, e.g.)
441MO5Short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic & unaccompanied
461MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
451MO6Pattern of irregular spots; usually an adj.
471OA7Breakfast cereal strongly associated with a quaker guy
481OM6Fried eggs folded around fillings such as cheese
481OM8Fried eggs folded around fillings such as cheese
501TA4Not wild, adj./verb
491TA6Mexican dish of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks
511TE4Group of sports players (Yankees, e.g.), noun; … up, verb
531TE4Be full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
521TE8A fellow player in the same group, compound
551TO4Large, heavy book
561TO5Symbolic object (… pole)
541TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit

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.