Bee Roots for 2022-05-16

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: I/ACHRTU
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 174
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: American Kennel Club

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, ...)
21AC4Trendy smoothie berry
11AC6African or Australian wattle tree
51AR4Opera solo
41AR6North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
31AR7No longer in use (words, e.g.), adj.
61AR9Swelling and tenderness of one or more joints
71AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
81AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
91CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
101CA9The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions
111CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
131CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
181CH4IOU note, Navy memo
121CH5Sitting furniture
151CH5Girl, Spanish
161CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2X fashionable)
191CH8Idle small talk; slang compound noun or verb that starts with a list word
171CH9Small dog of a smooth-haired, large-eyed breed originating in Mexico
201CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
221CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
231CI6Tree genus that includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, or the fruit of those trees
211CI7Closed electrical path (breaker), or ○ journey with same start & end
241CR6Fault-finder (“everyone’s a…”), or arts & dining reviewer
251HA4“Age of Aquarius” ‘60s nude hippie rock musical, or what grows on your scalp
261HA7What a barber gives you
271HI5“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride
281IT4What you scratch (an …)
291RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
301RI4Wealthy, adj.
311TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
321TA6Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
331TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
341TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
351TU5All together, musically (Italian); Little Richard “Wop bop a loo bop” song
361UR4Medical adj. for pee (… acid)

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.