Bee Roots for 2022-11-20

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: B/ELINTU
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 216
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Frank Deschandol

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, ...)
21BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
31BE4Borscht veg
51BE4It rings
71BE4It holds your pants up
91BE4Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
61BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
101BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
311BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
41BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
11BE7Straight, direct course between 2 points, compound (think this puzzle’s name)
81BE8Imaginary band around waist, or railway or road around a city, compound
321BE8Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
121BI4Liver secretion, or anger
131BI4Invoice, or actor Murray
151BI4Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
111BI5Holy book (starts with Genesis)
141BI6Temp soldier lodging
151BI6Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
161BL4Russian pancake
171BL4Primary color, neither red nor green
161BL5Russian pancake
191BL5(Of a knife) not sharp, or (of talk) frank; adj. or hollowed-out cigar filled with pot, noun
181BL8Flower shaped like something that rings, in the primary color that isn't red or green (compound)
221BU4Light-producing globe, head of garlic, or what you plant to get a tulip
231BU4♂ cow
261BU4Tap a baseball instead of swinging
271BU4Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
211BU5Erect or assemble, verb; past tense is slang adj. for muscular
281BU5Isolated hill with steep sides & flat top
201BU6Thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or another gas (the kids loved blowing soap …s)
241BU6Gun ammo
251BU8Short official statement, or news summary (pin your note to the…board), pangram
291EB9Cheerful & full of energy, pangram adj.
211IN7Erect or assemble, verb; past tense is slang adj. for muscular
301LI5Printed slander, noun
301LI7Printed slander, noun
331LU4Use oil to reduce friction and make something work better
341NI6Small, tentative chew, verb; or a snack, noun
351NU6Small bump, or small stunted ear of corn
361NU6Small knob or lump
371NU6(About a young woman) old enough to marry
381TU4A long, hollow cylinder (Londoners call their subway "The …")
381TU6A long, hollow cylinder (Londoners call their subway "The …")
71UN6It holds your pants up
91UN6Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
211UN7Erect or assemble, verb; past tense is slang adj. for muscular

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