Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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.

53 comments:

  1. <p><span><span>Lots of admiration for and best of luck to all spellers, but here are my picks:</span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>Nabeel Rahman (once a Casey Cougar, always a Casey Cougar)</span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>Vanya Shivashankar (I am also representing for kids from Kansas this Bee)</span></span>
    </p>

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  2. BeeFan8:01 PM

    Grace Remmer
    Vanya Shivashankar

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  3. Adam C.8:02 PM

    You took mine, so I'll go Vanya and Rushlow. 

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  4. Anonymous8:02 PM

    I was about to take Arvind and Vanya!  
    OK, I'll go for Arvind and Gina Solomito.

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  5. Genevieve8:03 PM

    That was me.

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  6. I came very close to selected Grace, given how close she's come both times.

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  7. Saray8:08 PM

    Vanya Shivashankar
    Sunny Levine

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  8. Lori Miller8:10 PM

    I'll ask for Nabeel Rahman and my home state girl, Emily Keaton.

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  9. Devin McCullen8:11 PM

    Arvind Mahankali & Marlene Santora (who wins for best bio)

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  10. Samir Patel8:14 PM

    Vanya + Mark De Los Santos.  [I have to root for the kid from my old bee.]

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  11. Would Vanya be this big a favorite but for the 25/25?

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  12. Heather K8:17 PM

    Grace Remmer
    Simon Ricci (go Chicago!!)

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  13. Samir Patel8:20 PM

    In a word, no.

    However, aside from the 25/25, you do have to realize that she's been subconsciously preparing since Kavya was in the Bee -- I'm guessing she was already familiar with foreign language phonetics, etc.  And obviously, everything Kavya ever used to prepare is now hers.

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  14. BeeFan8:28 PM

    Historically, the odds against a fifth-grader winning are insane.

    But this year seems to be a return to the old days (middle of the last decade!) of the highly challenging "written" test.  Back then, the test seemed to have great predictive value for the eventual top finishers.

    Since the test became less challenging in recent years, not so predictive.

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  15. Joseph J. Finn8:29 PM

    Simon Ricci and Marlene Santora.  Yes, I went purely for Chicagoans.

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  16. Saray8:30 PM

    I can't help it if I love her!!!

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  17. Maret8:30 PM

    <span>Arvind Mahankali and Sunny Levine.</span>

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  18. Uncle Spike8:32 PM

    Gotta go for my man Frank Cahill and Grace Remmer. I mean, I know Frank very well now, and he's in excellent fighting shape, hungry yet deliberate and fiercely intelligent. As for Grace, I saw her spell her first word, and although she might not have come across as a particularly compelling speller (calibrate isn't exactly tough, and khor is...well, if you know it, meh), but while she was spelling her first oral word, I just got this sense from her..."the Force is strong with this one."

    Having said that, my eyes are also on Nabeel Rahman. My official vote is for Frank and Grace, but the Force is also strong with Nabeel.

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  19. Dave S9:01 PM

    Grace Remmer and Lena Greenberg

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  20. victoria9:06 PM

    Vanya + Simon Ricci.

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  21. April9:07 PM

    Arvind and Grace Remmer

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  22. Heather R. Powell9:09 PM

    I'm going with Lena Greenberg and Sunny Levine.

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  23. Sheila9:10 PM

    Gina Solomito (only Indiana speller left!) and Nabeel Rahman (on Uncle Spike's recommendation)

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  24. Marsha9:23 PM

    Sunny Levine (woohoo!) and Grace Remmer. (I took Remmer instead of Rushlow, but I have a feeling about Remmer, too.)

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  25. CharlotteinPa9:24 PM

    I'd like Vaidya Govindarajan and Nabeel Rahman.

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  26. <span>Arvind Mahankali and Abigail Spitzer</span>

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  27. lisased9:39 PM

    Grace Remmer and Jae Canetti (Go NoVA!)

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  28. Julen9:42 PM

    Shruti Akula and Abigail Spitzer.

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  29. Barbara10:00 PM

    I'm going to choose Grace and Emily Keaton. :)

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  30. Sruti Akula and Nabeel Rahman
    So many choices! I wish I could have Heloise Cheruvalath, but she didn't make it :'(

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  31. Nabeel Rahman
    Grace Remmer

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  32. Simon Ricci and Stuti Mishra.

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  33. Nicholas Rushlow (go Central Ohio!)
    Grace Remmer

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  34. Reader Wellred, who's having Internet issues, wants her fellow Kansans Shivashankar and Steimle.

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  35. Chetan Reddy and Emily Keaton

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  36. Shonda Rhimes10:33 PM

    <span>Arvind Mahankali and Jae Canetti.   I'm picking Jae mostly because no one else has picked him and because his bio says he loves Beyblades, baseball and animals.</span>

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  37. Marnie10:49 PM

    I remember today thinking Jae was so cute.  Also I like that his class voted him "most compassionate student."

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  38. Marnie10:54 PM

    <span>I'm picking Arvind Mahankali (go NYC!) and Stuti Mishra</span><span><span>.</span></span>

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  39. isaac_spaceman mobile11:14 PM

    It's taking all of my willpower not to say in my typical language how I feel that Delta's new policy of not having a person available to operate the jet bridge during the short layover between a Buffalo-Detroit flight and a Detroit-San Francisco flight is keeping me from my third-favorite day of the year.  Spellers, may you savor every letter (though I know that's not how it works). 

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  40. Gifton Wright and Rachel Cundey

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  41. Amber Born and Snigdha Nandipati

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  42. Heather c1:00 AM

    Grace Remmer and Arvind.....taken. Grace Remmer and Nicholas.....blrurgh, taken. Grace and Vanya...oh, never mind.

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  43. Bobby2:40 AM

    Arvind Mahankali and Snigdha Nandipati 

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  44. Nupur3:04 AM

    Arvind Mahankali and Chetan Reddy. These three-peaters with excellent track records seem to have the requisite fire in their bellies and cool demeanors that are so key to getting through the last few rounds. What Amy and I discussed was how tomorrow's group seems to have a lot more spellers who have a year or more of eligibility left than in past years. I'd be interested to see how that affects the competition tomorrow. There's nothing to up the ante like rooting for a speller on their last try.

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  45. Nupur3:13 AM

    Not to mention that like her sister and a certain other wise and prolific commentator on this thread ;), Vanya has tremendous poise for her age. I predict she will go very, very far in this competition. 

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  46. Heather c6:12 AM

    Pondered.....Grace Remmer and Gina Solomito.

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  47. Jenn.8:39 AM

    Vanya and Sunny, if that combo is not taken?

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  48. Last year was similar -- there were no five-timers at all.  So you don't get the drama as with Samir's last year, or Kavya's, or Tia, etc.

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  49. Taken by Saray above.

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  50. Arvind and Vaidya, please!

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  51. Speller&#39;s Mom9:30 AM

    Grace and local fav Roshini from Rochester

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  52. Vanya, and Vaidya <span>Govindajaran</span>

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  53. neither one of mine made it to the chapmionship finals :(

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