Bee Roots for 2022-11-18

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: R/CILNOY
  • Words: 23
  • Points: 92
  • 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, ...)
11CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
21CO4Fiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
41CO4Veg on a cob
31CO5Red, green, blue, purple, etc.
51CO5Trite and mawkish
51CO7Trite and mawkish
61CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
71CR5Small plant that blooms early in spring
81CR5Close friend or companion (often derogatory)
91CR5Hum or sing in a soft, low voice, especially in a sentimental manner (think Sinatra or Bublé)
101CR7Practice of deep-freezing dead bodies, always used as plural except here
111IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
131IR5Oxymoronic humor, sarcasm
121IR6Wryly funny because it’s opposite to what’s expected (a fire station burns down, e.g,)
141LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
151LY5Adj. for small harp, or singular of term for words to a song
161NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
171NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
191RI4Small stream
181RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain
211RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)
221RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
201RO6Ornamental decorative style

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. 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