THE 2015 SPELLING BEE POOL: Forty-nine amazing spellers remain.
Our rules are similar to those in years past -- we have one remaining five-timer (Vanya Shivashankar), and three spellers returning for their fourth year (Gokul Venkatachalam, Dylan O'Connor Katharine Wang). The use of these veterans will be restricted.
So: pick two spellers, only one of whom can be one of the four spellers above. 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 ESPN2. In addition, each speller will receive an additional point for reaching primetime, to account for the computer-based cutoff after tomorrow's three live rounds. Most points wins; tiebreaker will be whoever has the individual speller going the furthest. Do not edit your entry after you've made it; if you need to make corrections, reply to your original comment.
It's my blog, so I go first: Gokul Venkatachalam, the vet who went the longest last year, and Sara-Beth McPherson, the 26th and final Jamaican national champion coached by the late Rev. Glen Archer. [I came really close to picking Tejas Muthusamy, but I cannot bring myself to picking a sixth-grader.]
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); 2011's winner was Nupur Lala (the Roy/Ye Keystone combo); Bobby in 2012 (Nandipati/Mahankali); Sara Miller in 2013 (Mahankali/Sivakumar), and Bobby again in 2014 (Venkatachalam/Hathwar).