GREETINGS FROM NATIONAL HARBOR: Round 4 begins with 45 spellers.
Unlike the past two years, today will proceed with a carefully titrated spell-til-you-drop until a round finishes with 10-or-so spellers, at which point they'll pause until prime time, rather than an artificial cliff governed by a second written test. In other words, by the time tonight is over -- because the new rules severely reduce the possibility of a third straight tie -- forty-four of these kids will have erred, with one remaining triumphant. Let's watch.
10:06am: The first speller goes down on the name of the Phila suburb encompassing Elkins Park where Benjamin Netanyahu and Reggie Jackson attended high school. Also is some art something. Sigh.
10:11am: Ten minutes in, and 3/4 of the spellers down. My goodness, and none of them are Canadian!
10:37am: Our friend Amy Goldstein notes for ESPN of the six (of 13) who are down so far, every one of the fallen is a first-time female speller.
10:46am: Chaunte Blackwood says "thank you, sir" about 15 times to Dr. Bailly, nails nannygai. And now my Bee is back.