Bee Roots for 2022-07-21

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: T/AILMOP
  • Words: 56
  • Points: 210
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Pinterest

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, ...)
21AL4Sax smaller than a tenor, or voice higher than one
71AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
11AL5Apportion $ or other resource (time, e.g.)
41AT4Smallest unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
531AT4Opposite of bottom
31AT5Coral island (Bikini, e.g.)
441AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
51IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
61LA6Portable computer
81LI4Singsong accent
91LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
101LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
111LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
131MA4Convert grain for brewing (…–ed milk), noun/verb
121MA7Dancing or gymnastics tights, ♀ 1–piece bathing suit, or bike racing jersey; a French word for shirt
151MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
141MI7(Related to above) armed vigilante group; 2nd Amendment's “Well-regulated…”
161MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
171MO4Shed feathers, hair, or skin; verb
181MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
191MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
201OM4Leave out, verb
211OP6Best conditions for some purpose
211OP7Best conditions for some purpose
241PA5Outdoor terrace adjoining a house, from Spanish (… furniture)
221PA7Roof of the mouth
231PA8Resembling a royal residence (Buckingham?); spacious & splendid, adj.
271PI4Flat bread with a pocket, often dipped in hummus or filled with falafel
251PI5Airplane driver
261PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
281PI7Rhyming, usually hyphenated, adv. for rapid beating (my heart went …)
301PL4Construction map; omit end vowel in dish synonym
311PL4Scheme, noun or verb (Roth’s “The … Against America”); or storyline in fiction
291PL5Hair braid, noun/verb
331TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
351TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
371TA4Ankle bone
381TA4Pack down (start of Florida city on a bay)
391TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
361TA6Fringed prayer shawl
401TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
411TA6Skin “ink”
341TA8Red light at back of car, compound
431TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
441TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
451TI6Rhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition) (compound)
421TI7Common bland-tasting fish
461TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)
471TO4Road use fee (collected at a booth)
511TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
521TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
541TO5The whole amount (sum of numbers, e.g.)
491TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
501TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
481TO9Smaller, green Mexican husk variety of below fruit

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.