Bee Roots for 2022-02-20

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: L/ABCIKT
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 279
  • Pangrams: 3

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, ...)
401AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
11AL5Archaic exclamation of regret or dismay; from list word for “absence of”
21AL5Criminal’s excuse
31AL6Acid opposite in chem. (soluble base)
541AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
71BA4Fee to avoid prison, noun; scoop water out of a ship, or abandon, verb
91BA4Hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking; or illegal move by a pitcher in baseball
101BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper
41BA7Rod-shaped microorganism
51BA7Illuminated from behind (compound)
61BA8Rude or cheeky remarks made in reply to someone in authority (compound made from opposite of front + speak)
81BA9Russian ▷-shaped guitar
121BI4Cheat someone out of $
131BI4Invoice, or actor Murray
111BI8Holy book (starts with Genesis)
341BI8Latin for lips, or lips of vagina
141BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
171BL4Make a sound like a sheep, goat, or calf; slang
151BL5Color that reflects no light; color of the 8-ball
161BL9Exclude from membership, usually by secret ballot (compound)
201CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
181CA5Secret political faction
211CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
191CA6Jewish mysticism; usually starts with K
231CA7Feline ♂ whistle or jeer at passing ♀ (compound)
241CA7Domestic feline hind appendage, or reed (compound)
221CA8Invitation to return for a second audition (compound)
251CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
261CL5Heel sounds on tile, verb; or NPR “car” show guy 2
271CL5What you do to a web button or link, verb; or NPR “Car Talk” guy 1
281CL9Internet content whose main purpose is to attract attention (compound)
291IL5Hip bone
381IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
301IT6𝑆𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑒𝑥𝑡 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑅𝑜𝑚𝑒’𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑦
331KI4♂ plaid skirt in Scotland
311KI8Game that’s a cross between soccer & the one the Yankees play (compound)
351LA4Absence of (talent or imagination, e.g.), verb/noun
371LA4Non-cleric + non-clerical
341LA5Latin for lips, or lips of vagina
341LA6Latin for lips, or lips of vagina
361LA6Milk adj. (think acid in yogurt or sore muscles)
371LA6Non-cleric + non-clerical
391LI4Tongue off (as an ice cream cone, e.g.), verb/noun
421LI4Singsong accent
381LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
411LI5Purple flower or shade
451TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
471TA4Mineral in baby powder
481TA4Speak (… to the hand!)
491TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
511TA4Ankle bone
431TA5Indian small drum pair; NOT dining room furniture
501TA6Fringed prayer shawl
441TA8Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
461TA8American football player whose main job is to carry the ball (compound made from the hindmost part of many animals + the opposite of front)
531TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
541TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
521TI6Shin bone

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.