THE 2012 SPELLING BEE POOL: Our rules are a little different than last year's -- with two five-timers returning among the fifty semifinalists, as well as two returning prime-timers, I'm going back to restricting the use of veterans a bit.
So: pick two spellers, only one of whom can be a five-timer (Rahul Malayyapan and Nicholas Rushlow) or prime-timer (Nabeel Rahman and Arvind Mahankali). While individual spellers can be used more than once, you cannot repeat the same pairing that someone else has already submitted. First come, first served, and you cannot choose a speller once s/he spells tomorrow morning. You will get one point for each word your spellers correctly spell during tomorrow's rounds of the Bee, which resumes at 10am eastern on ESPN. Most points wins; tiebreaker will be whoever has the individual speller going the furthest.
Previous pool winners are Elicia Chamberlin in 2006 (Close/Hooks), Professor Jeff and Amy tied in 2007 (O'Dorney and Thomas/Horton), KJ in 2008 (Mishra/K Shivashankar), Cagey (K Shivashankar/Pastapur) in 2009, Bob Loblaw/Jenn tied in 2010 (Veeramani and Chemudupaty/Denniss); and Nupur Lala won last year with her Roy/Ye Keystone combo.
Since it's my pool, I go first, and I'll take Arvind Mahankali and ... yeah, okay, Vanya Shivashankar.