Bee Roots for 2022-03-09

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/ACIORT
  • Words: 53
  • Points: 221
  • 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, ...)
11AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
21AR5Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
31AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
31AR8Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
41AT4Smallest unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
41AT6Smallest unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
51CA4♀ sleeveless undergarment top, slang abbr.
61CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
71CA5Bounce off or glance off an object or cushion
91CO4Prolonged unconscious state
101CO5Paid jokester, or “… book” with superheroes
111CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
121CO6Perpetrate, pledge, or put into a mental ward
81CO8Where you check your outerwear (compound)
131CR4Study intensely just before a test (stuff facts into your brain), or stuff into a box; verb
141IM4Prayer leader at mosque
151IM8Copy someone’s speech or mannerisms
171MA4Permanently injure
181MA4♀ parent, slang
201MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
221MA4Store (K–, Wal–)
161MA5Opposite of micro
181MA5♀ parent, slang
191MA6Rattle shaken in music
211MA6Fat squirrel that hibernates; starts with above
231MI4Flaky rock that breaks off in sheets
271MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
241MI5Prefix meaning small (-scope, -phone)
251MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
261MI6Looking glass (“Who’s the fairest of them all?”)
281MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
291MO4Othello (“The …”), noun; or to tie up a boat, verb
301MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
181MO5♀ parent, slang
341MO5Device (electric or gasoline) that produces movement (in a car, e.g.)
361MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
331MO6Paste for bricks, cup for grinding (…& pestle), or gun for lobbing shells
321MO7Casablanca’s country
351MO8Dated synonym for automobile
311MO9Temporary prohibition of an activity (… on evictions because of COVID)
371OM4Leave out, verb
381RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
401RO4Chamber of a house (kitchen, bed-…, bath-…), noun/verb
391RO6Amorous & funny film genre, slang abbr.
411TA6Japanese rich, naturally fermented soy sauce
421TA6Airport runway area
431TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
441TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
451TO6♂ feline, compound that starts with a ♂ name (Selleck, Petty, e.g.)
461TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
471TR4People mover in Disney parks, parking lots, & cities
491TR4Neaten (hair) by snipping off ends
481TR7Single unit of a public transit vehicle, compound noun

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.