Bee Roots for 2022-05-20

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/ACHNUY
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 154
  • 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, ...)
11AC8Correct in all details; exact
21AN7Absence of government
41AR4Curved span
51AR5Ordered series, esp. math
31AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
61AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
81CA5Person who works in a traveling amusement (slang)
91CA5Lug around (fireman’s …), verb
71CA6Small bird, popular as a pet, once used as a monitor for poison gas (... in a coal mine)
101CH4Partially burn & blacken, verb
111CH5Cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something
131CH5Machine in which butter is made by agitating milk or cream
121CH6Place Christians pray
121CH7Place Christians pray
141CR6Small, narrow space or opening
151CR6Crush a hard or brittle food with the teeth, making a loud but muffled grinding sound
151CR7Crush a hard or brittle food with the teeth, making a loud but muffled grinding sound
171CU5Dish of meat and/or vegetables, cooked in an Indian-style sauce of hot-tasting spices and typically served with rice
161CU6The office, position or work of an assistant to a vicar or rector
181HA5UK ginger prince wed to Meghan
201HU5Act with haste, rush, verb/noun
192HU6Cheer word (hip-hip …)
211NA4Drug cop, slang
221NA4Dialectic negation (I survived with … a scratch)
231RA4Lively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
241RA5Western cattle farm, or creamy salad dressing
251RA6Energetic earthiness; vulgarity
251RA7Energetic earthiness; vulgarity
261RU5Move fast on foot
271YA4Knitting thread, or wild story

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.