Bee Roots for 2022-08-21

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: P/AEHMTY
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 126
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: John C. H. Grabill, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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, ...)
21AT7Make an effort to achieve or complete something, verb/noun
41EM5Containing nothing, adj.; or remove all contents, verb
31EM6Ability to sense and share the feelings of another
31EM7Ability to sense and share the feelings of another
51EP4Fencing sword
61HA5Pleased (“Don’t worry, be …”)
71HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
81HE4Cannabis plant, or the fiber from it used to make rope
91HY4Intense promotion, noun or verb (“Don’t believe the…”)
111PA4Father, slang
141PA4Chopped liver (… de foie gras) or other spréâd (French), or archaic for a person’s head
151PA4Walking or bike trail
101PA5S Am treeless grassland
131PA5Slang term for father or grandfather
161PA5Peppermint candy (& friend of Marcie in “Peanuts”) or burger form
171PA5Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
121PA6Tropical fruit with black seeds
181PE4Fuel from bog soil, NOT Secretary Buttigieg
191PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
181PE5Fuel from bog soil, NOT Secretary Buttigieg
201PE5Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
211PE5Trivial (… crime) (think late “Heartbreakers” singer Tom)
221PH4“Excellent” in hip-hop slang, NOT obese
231TA4Pack down (start of Florida city on a bay)
241TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
251TA4Adhesive strip
271TE4Office worker fill-in, slang abbr.
261TE5Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
291TE5Entice (as a donut to a dieter, e.g.), verb
261TE6Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
281TE6Indonesian dish made by deep-frying fermented soybeans
301TY4What you do on a keyboard
311YA5Sharp, shrill bark; slang term for a person's mouth; Pacific island with giant coins

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.