Bee Roots for 2022-09-27

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: Y/ABCLNO
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 182
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: US National Park Service

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, ...)
21AB4Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
11AB6Office or period of office of a head of monks or nuns (think Downton … PBS show)
51AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict
31AL5Put (fears) at rest
41AL5Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
61AN5Irritate, vex, irk
71AN6Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body
121BA6Indian “strangler” fig tree
91BA7Place where Juliet speaks to Romeo, pangram
101BA7Young ♂ who retrieves orbs in games (tennis, e.g.), compound
111BA7Unoriginal, dull
131BL6Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
141BL6Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
151BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
161BO5Scottish “attractive” lass, or Prince Charlie adj.
171BO5Seabird with colorful feet, or gag "prize"
181CA5Taxi driver, slang; usually ends in –IE
191CA5Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
201CA6Deep gorge, from Spanish (“Grand”)
211CL4Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
221CL4Sicken with sweetness
251CO5Reluctant to give details, especially about something regarded as sensitive
231CO6Area controlled by another country, typically a distant one, and occupied by settlers from that country (Massachusetts Bay …)
241CO6“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
261CY4Greenish-blue (ink cartridge)
271LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
281LO5Bldg. entrance area or waiting room
311LO5“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
321LO5Faithful, devoted
301LO7From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
321LO7Faithful, devoted
291LO8Southern US yellow pine tree, or SE US tea evergreen
331NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
341NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
351NY5Synthetic stocking fabric
371ON4Sole, nothing more (“I’m … human!”)
361ON5Pre-molded tooth restoration that covers chewing surface

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.