Bee Roots for 2022-02-19

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: R/AGITVY
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 126
  • 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, ...)
11AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
21AI4Spacious, well-lit, & well-ventilated (room); or breezy (attitude); adj.
31AR4Opera solo
51AR4Creative activity: painting, music, literature, dance, etc
41AR5Ordered series, esp. math
61AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
71AT5Flower oil for perfume
81AV6Video game stand-in, or film set on Pandora
91AV6Large cage, building, or enclosure for keeping birds; change 1st consonant in beehive collection
101GI4Encircle with a belt
131GR4Black & while shade (50 of them?)
141GR4Small loose particles of stone or sand, or courage & resolve; “True …” 1969 & 2010 Western
121GR5Sauce made from cooked meat juices
141GR6Small loose particles of stone or sand, or courage & resolve; “True …” 1969 & 2010 Western
111GR7The force that makes things fall to earth
151RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth
171RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
191RA5Sewer-dwelling rodent
161RA6Untidy, disorganized, or diverse (group), compound adj.; starts with old cloth
181RA6Uncommon; steak served with red inside
201RA7Machine gun sound
221TA4Open filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
211TA5Dark, thick, flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal
231TA6Fish sauce, or tooth buildup
241TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
261TR4Use it to carry drinks
271TR4Study of angles in math, slang abbr. (sine, tangent, e.g.)
251TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
281TR6Insignificant facts (there are often contests), noun + adj.
301VA4Differ in size, amount, degree, or nature (Your results may …), verb
291VA6Unexpected and inexplicable change in a situation (usually plural)

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.