Bee Roots for 2022-03-11

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: B/AEJONW
  • Words: 24
  • Points: 91
  • 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, ...)
11BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
21BA4Infant, slugger Ruth, or pig film
51BA4Cause of annoyance, or DC Comics villain (he’s the … of my existence)
61BA5What Steve Martin plays on his knee
31BA6Large monkey with red butt
41BA6Common yellow plantain variety
71BA6African tree
81BE4Legume (lima…), noun; or hit on the head, verb
91BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
101BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
121BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
141BO4Breast, slang
161BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
111BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
131BO6Small ape related to chimps
151BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
171BO6Rhyming compound bark of a cartoon dog
181EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
191JA7Mandible (of an ass?), compound pangram
201JO6Southwestern shrub AKA goat nut whose oil is used for cosmetics & meds (starts with guy in Beatles “Get Back”)
211NA5Conspicuously rich person, as in VP Agnew’s “nattering ...s of negativism”
221NO4Beginner, gamer slang
231OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument
241WA7Person who aspires to another role in life (slang, compound)

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.