Bee Roots for 2022-09-20

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: M/ABHORT
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 149
  • 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, ...)
11AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
21AR5Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
31AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
41AT4Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
51BA6Panda’s primary food
61BA7Chamber that serves liquor & beer (… brawl); compound
71BA7Something not slippery to stand on when you get out of a tub or shower, compound
81BA8Chamber where you “freshen up,” compound pangram
91BO4It explodes, noun/verb
101BO4Sound of explosion or subwoofer
111BO6Underside, or slang for ass
121BR5Sweeper that witches fly on
141HA4Physical injury, especially if deliberately inflicted, noun/verb
131HA5Forbidden by Islamic law
161MA4♀ parent, slang
201MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
221MA4Store (K–, Wal–)
231MA4Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division subject abbr.
161MA5♀ parent, slang
171MA5Venomous African green or black snake
181MA5Cuban dance, NOT an African snake
211MA6Rodent with short legs and a thick body, often called groundhog or woodchuck
151MA7Indian honorific (… Gahdhi), or rice brand
191MA7Huge, adj.; or large extinct elephant (wooly …)
241MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
251MO4Othello (“The …”), noun; or to tie up a boat, verb
261MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
281MO4Drab butterfly
161MO5♀ parent, slang
291MO5Device (electric or gasoline) that produces movement (in a car, e.g.)
311MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
271MO6Paste for bricks, cup for grinding (…& pestle), or gun for lobbing shells
301MO9Powered watercraft, compound
321RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
331RO4Chamber of a house (kitchen, bed-…, bath-…), noun/verb
351TO4Burial vault (Who’s in Grant’s …?)
341TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
361TR4People mover in Disney parks, parking lots, & cities

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.