Bee Roots for 2022-05-19

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/IJLNUV
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 117
  • 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, ...)
11EL6Hour before noon
21EN5World weariness (French)
171EN7Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
31EV4Number that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (… out the edges)
41EV4Wicked (ELO’s “… Woman”, Santana's "… Ways")
51IN5Concave belly button, slang
71JE4Solidify, as a liquid or idea, verb
61JE6Naive, simplistic, and superficial
81JI4Lively style of dance popular especially in the 1940s and 1950s, performed to swing music or rock and roll
91JU8Food cut into short, thin strips, noun/verb
101JU8Relating to young people, adjective/noun
111LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
121LE5Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
131LI4Bank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
141LI4In place of (in … of flowers)
151LI4A queue, what you wait in for your turn
171LI4Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
161LI5Cloth napkin fabric
171LI5Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
181LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
191NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
201NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
31UN6Number that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (… out the edges)
211UN6Bride’s face covering
121UN7Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
211VE4Bride’s face covering
221VE4Tube that returns blood to the heart
231VE5Event location (booking a wedding…); seek to move a trial by requesting a change of …; noun
241VE6Very small body tube that returns blood to the heart from capillaries
251VI4Despicable, NOT a small glass container; adj.
261VI4Climbing plant (Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grape…”)

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.