Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THE DREADED WRITTEN ROUND:  So, what words were so difficult that a score of 17/25 (plus both oral words) were sufficient to move on to Thursday's semifinals?  In addition to some easy ones (statuesque, alacrity, demolition, etc), these:
  • tuh MAL ee, tah MAL ee: Part of the lobster most folks don't eat.
  • KON shuhn uh buhl: According to Richard Epstein, all contracts.
  • ehr buh CARE ee uhn: City folk.
  • po guh NAHD uh mee: shaving
  • doo buh TAHN tay: The attitude of the Montana Supreme Court towards Citizens United.
  • MYOOS lee: That Swiss cereal.
  • eh KEE tho, eh HEE tho: Mexican co-op
  • SEHM ehl puh ruhs:  A once-in-a-lifetime gig.
  • uh nee muh KOR, uh nee muh KO uhr: Plants spreading spores via the wind.
  • thoo sih duh dee uhn, thyoo sih duh dee uhn: Of, or pertaining to, that guy that former Amherst College President Peter Pouncey always talked about.
  • nee uh MEE nee uh: Of, or pertaining to, the first book in the Twilight series.
  • keed uh RO nay: A bass lute.
  • ood uhr KWEE duhn(t)s: An unclass dude.
  • kwee LEE uh: A caged bird which may, or may not, sing.
Answers here.  Samir Patel's thoughts, below the fold:
Assuming you got both your bonus words in Rounds 2 and 3, and given that 'rife,' 'alternate,' 'befuddle,' 'demolition,' 'alacrity,' and 'specimen' should be considered "basic" words for NSB-caliber spellers, you're left with needing only 11 out of the other 19 words. That's 58%. If you go a little farther, 'doxic' and 'statuesque' shouldn't really give good spellers much trouble. Out of the others, the only REALLY hard ones [in my opinion] are 'Thucydidean,' 'outrecuidance,' 'tomalley,' 'quelea,' and 'muesli.' Even if you miss all five of those, you're left with three points to play with -- out of fourteen words....I'm really having a hard time conceiving a scenario in which a top notch speller would have trouble with qualifying. 
But then again, we're older and we've been through it already and we're not there right now in the pressure of the situation. So perhaps through an actual speller's lens, the test might be a little more challenging.

1 comment:

  1. I credit growing up in New England with why I knew how to spell tomalley (and assume that the misspellings were of the "tamale" variety.)