Bee Roots for 2022-08-20

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: A/CBEHLY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 185
  • 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, ...)
32AB4Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
21AB5Bldg. occupied by monks or nuns (“Downton …”)
11AB6Office or period of office of a head of monks or nuns (think Downton … PBS show)
42AC4Muscle, heart, tooth, or tummy dull pain
81AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
51AL5Put (fears) at rest
71AL5Narrow passageway between buildings. (… cat, …-oop)
61AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
91BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
111BA4Infant, slugger Ruth, or pig film
141BA4Parcel of hay, or actor Christian
151BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper, noun; or squeeze or form into a spherical shape, verb
121BA5Genesis “Tower of…,” noun
101BA6Talk rapidly in a foolish or excited way (like an infant); homophone of Genesis “Tower of …,” verb
161BE5Sandy shoreline
171BE5Fix a rope around a cleat, rock, pin, or other object, to secure it; or stop that, nautical slang
161BE6Sandy shoreline
181BE9Complain, slang verb; or upset stomach, noun; compound pangram made from stomach + pain
191BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
201BL4Dull, informal adj. or exclamation
191BL6Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
211BL6Chlorine laundry whitener
271CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
221CA5Secret political faction
241CA5Taxi driver, slang; usually ends in –IE
251CA5Thick wire rope (… bridge), San Francisco trolley (… car), or insulated wire (power or USB …)
261CA5Hidden stockpile, or computer temp memory storage to speed access
281CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
231CA6Jewish mysticism; usually starts with K
271CA8Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
291CH7Jewish Sabbath braided egg bread
301CL4Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
301CL6Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
311EA4Every one, pronoun; or apiece, adv.
321EY7Body part you see with, compound
341HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
351HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
331HA5Kosher in Islam
361HE4Recover from injury
361HE8Recover from injury
382LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
371LA5Tag or sticky paper with info (Avery mailing …)
391LE5Dissolve out by percolating liquid, verb; or “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” host Robin
401YE4Informal affirmative reply

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.