Bee Roots for 2022-03-24

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: E/BFILNX
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 149
  • 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, ...)
11BE4Cow meat
31BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
61BE4It rings
71BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
261BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
41BE6Happen to someone (said about something bad)
51BE6Acceptance that something is true, esp. religion; noun
21BE7Straight, direct course between 2 points, compound (think this puzzle’s name)
91BI4Liver secretion, or anger
81BI5Holy book (starts with Genesis)
101EL5Small, delicate, impish; as a Keebler worker, adj.
121EN8Weak (…-minded), adj.
111EX5State of being barred from one’s native country (living in …)
131FE4Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
151FE4Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
121FE6Weak (…-minded), adj.
141FE6Cat adj.
161FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
171FI4Medieval for feudal land or area of control; often has –DOM suffix
181FI4Small flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
191FI4Folder of related papers, or tool for smoothing edges (fingernails, e.g.), noun/verb
201FI4Impose a $ penalty (the judge …ed him $100 for speeding)
211FL4Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
221FL4Bend or become bent (said about a joint), verb/noun
221FL8Bend or become bent (said about a joint), verb/noun
231IB4Wild Alpine goat
241IN5Concave belly button, slang
221IN10Bend or become bent (said about a joint), verb/noun
271LI4Bank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
281LI4Cereal Mikey prefers, board game, or “death” antonym
301LI4A queue, what you wait in for your turn
251LI5Printed slander, noun
311LI5Cloth napkin fabric
251LI7Printed slander, noun
291LI8What a palm reader checks to see when you’ll die, or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” friend assistance (compound)
321NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
341NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
331NI6Small, tentative chew, verb; or a snack, 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.