Bee Roots for 2022-05-09

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: A/BCDKRY
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 126
  • 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, ...)
11AB5Surprised (taken …), adv.
21AB6Office or period of office of a head of monks or nuns (think Downton … PBS show)
31AB11Magician’s rhyming incantation
41AR5Ordered series, esp. math
51BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
81BA4Part of body containing your spine
101BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
111BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
121BA4Dog vocalization, or tree skin
61BA5Sweet braided Jewish bread, often with chocolate filling
131BA7Soldier’s lodging
91BA8Lawn behind your house where you’d have a BBQ, compound pangram
141BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
151BR4Donkey sound
181CA4Baked dessert, often with layers and icing; traditional birthday party fare
191CA4Bread starch avoided on many diets, slang abbr.
201CA4Thing used to play poker & bridge, noun; or ask for ID as proof of age before entry
161CA5Taxi driver, slang; usually ends in –IE
171CA5One who carries golf clubs
211CA5Lug around (fireman’s …), verb
221CR4Crustacean with claws & eye stalks
231CR5Slang for cocaine you smoke, or fracture line, noun + adj.
221CR6Crustacean with claws & eye stalks
241CR7A person who sheds tears frequently; compound (Don’t be such a…); & John Waters 1990 teen romantic comedy film & musical
261DA4Absence of light
251DA5Papa (… long legs, sugar …)
271DR4Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
281DR4Cart with open sides
291DR5Mythical Greek tree nymph
301DY4Something that consists of 2 parts, from Greek (Kylo Ren & Rey, e.g.)
311KA5Small canoe (pic of me)
321RA4Frame used to lock up bikes, set up billiards balls, organize spices, or dry dishes, e.g.
331RA4Lively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
341RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
351YA43 feet (…-stick), or grassy area outside a house

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.