Bee Roots for 2022-05-08

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: R/ABDLIZ
  • Words: 35
  • Points: 129
  • 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, ...)
11AI7Compound hoops term for a shot that misses everything (basket, rim & backboard)
21AR4Opera solo
31AR4Dry (climate or land), adj.
41AR4Seed covering
51BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
61BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
71BA6Middle Eastern market, charity fundraiser, or “Harper’s …” fashion mag
101BI4An avian; it has wings & a beak (crow, robin, etc.)
81BI8Usually-plural formal term for the game of pool
91BI8Geometry & anatomy term for symmetry that is both left/right & also around its central axis; starts with Latin “2” prefix & ends in a modern tire type
111BL8Severe snowstorm with high winds and low visibility
121BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
131BR5Hair or challah weave, noun/verb
141BR5Thicket of prickly shrubs (… patch)
151BR6Woman who is getting married
161DR4Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
171DR4Archaic word for a very small amount, noun; or to let fall, verb; …s & [dreary and dull]s; start of bouncing a game orb when moving on the court, or what small amounts of liquid do when falling
181DR5Power tool with bits for making holes, or practice for an emergency (fire…); noun
191LA4Animal or criminal den
201LA4Pig fat for cooking
211LI4Someone who doesn’t tell the truth
221LI4₺ or ₤, Turkish or old Italian $
231LI6Four-legged reptile
291RA4Sudden attack, as in “air” or police;” or insect spray
301RA4What a train travels on, or what you hold on stairs
321RA4Tease someone, slang
241RA5Jewish minister or teacher
251RA5Adj. for a dog frothing at the mouth or a fanatical person
261RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
281RA5Distance from a point on a circle to the center
271RA6Modern tire design; or arranged like spokes of a wheel, adj.
311RA8Spectator at a horse race who watches from the fence along the track; compound; starts with bar synonym; ends in avian list word
331RI4$ in Iran, Oman, & Yemen
351RI4Small stream
341RI6Referring to sexual matters in an amusingly coarse or irreverent way, adj.

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.