Bee Roots for 2022-07-20

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: B/ELNOTV
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 128
  • 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, ...)
11BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
21BE4Borscht veg
41BE4It rings
61BE4It holds your pants up
81BE4Crooked, adj., or past tense verb for something un-straightened
51BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
91BE5Japanese lunchbox
101BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
111BE5Sloping edge in carpentry & stonework, noun or verb
31BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
71BE10Well-meaning & kindly (dictator), or charitable (order), pangram adj. (starts with Italian for "good")
121BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
131BL4Stain (on your record), noun; or dry using absorbent material (forehead dampness), verb
141BL6Slang for drunk
161BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
171BO4Western string tie
181BO4Runner Usain, or what you screw into a nut
201BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
231BO4Breast, slang
251BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
261BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
151BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
191BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
211BO6Hat tied under chin, or Britspeak for car hood
221BO6Small ape related to chimps
241BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
271BO6Baby foot covering
281BO6String of connected hijacked computers that send spam & launch attacks
291BO6Baby milk feeder
301EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
331EN7Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
311LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
321LO4Wolf, Spanish
341NO4Beginner, gamer slang
331NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
351OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument

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.