Bee Roots for 2022-03-20

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: F/AHILTW
  • Words: 23
  • Points: 75
  • 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, ...)
11AL7Grass for hay, or Little Rascal
21FA4Don’t pass a test
41FA4Autumn, noun; or plummet, verb
31FA5Trust or belief (in God, e.g.)
51FA5Deadly, adj. (“… Attraction” film)
61FA5A ruling on a point of Islamic law
71FI4Italian car brand (part of Chrysler), formal decree, or arbitrary order
101FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
81FI520%, or Beethoven "da da da dum" symphony
111FI5Disgusting dirt
91FI6Of or due from a son or daughter, adj.
131FL4Having no depth or height (… as a pancake), or ♭ in music (opposite of ♯)
151FL4Move swiftly & lightly, as a bird, e.g. (… about)
121FL5Swing (arms) wildly
161HA4Part of spear, axe, or knife you grip (1970s NYC crime film series with catchy theme song, but missing initial S)
171HA4½ , 50%
181HA7Dunce who only has ½ their smarts about them, pangram
191LI4Raise up (fork…), not Uber competitor
201TI4Petty quarrel, or computer image format
211WA4Pass easily or gently through the air
221WA4Homeless, neglected, or abandoned person, esp. a child; Dickens novels often feature them (street …)
231WH5Faint smell, or miss hitting the ball

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.