Bee Roots for 2022-09-29

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: I/AELNTZ
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 262
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
191AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
11AL5Extraterrestrial (“In space no one can hear you scream”)
11AL8Extraterrestrial (“In space no one can hear you scream”)
21AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
431AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
31AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana)
41EL5Select group that’s superior
51EN6Involve something as a necessary consequence: "the job …s a lot of hard work"
481EN7Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb
61IN5Stupid, silly, ridiculous (… questions or comments); adj.
101IN5Concave belly button, slang
111IN5Computer chip maker; or what spies collect, abbr.
171IN5Allow; rent
91IN6Present from birth (… behavior), adj.
121IN6Determined to do (I’m … on finishing this puzzle), adj.; or objective, noun
71IN7First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
81IN8Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
71IN10First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
141LA4Put something down
131LA5Hawaiian island or porch
161LE6Bean for soup or curry
151LE7Merciful, not strict (as a judge or parent, e.g.)
181LI4Bank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
201LI4Singsong accent
211LI4A queue, what you wait in for your turn
241LI4Dryer fluff
261LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
221LI5Cloth napkin fabric
211LI6A queue, what you wait in for your turn
231LI6Mainly brown & gray finch with a reddish breast & forehead (rhymes with the type of piano I have)
251LI6Horiz. beam across a door or window top
271LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
281NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
291NE7User of the web or online communities, especially an avid or compulsive one
301NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
321NI4Part of the day when it’s dark, slang spelling
311NI8One more than the number of holes on a golf course
331TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
341TA4Tin foil for the backs of mirrors
371TA4Ankle bone
351TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
361TA6Fringed prayer shawl
381TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
391TA9Excite someone's senses or desires
401TA9Blue and violet variety of zoisite (named for the East African country where it was discovered)
411TI4Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
421TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
431TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
441TI4Fork prong
451TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
461TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
481TI5Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb
491TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
471TI9Stimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
501ZI4Periodical, abbr. (last syllable), esp. fan pub
521ZI4Tubular pasta
511ZI6Sunflower within the daisy family (what other flower starts with Z?)

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.