Friday, June 4, 2010

INTERLUDE: Via commenter BeeFan:
The 25-word Championship Word List has not always been with us. Until 1999, all spelling in the NationalSpelling Bee was from a single list. Here is a quiz about the Championship Word List:

1. The 25th word has never been reached. What is the farthest the spellers have ever gone on the list to determine a winner (number of words)?

2. Who is the only pre-seventh grader to spell from the list?

3. Who is the only speller to spell from the CWL twice?

4. Who are the only siblings to spell from the list?

5. Who is the only speller to miss a word on the CWL and come back to win (because his or her opponent also missed)?
And let's bring in Kennyi Aouad.



  1. isaac_spaceman3:27 PM

    I don't know the answer to any of the questions, but I'm going to guess Samir for all of them.  Even when the answer is a number. 

  2. isaac_spaceman3:28 PM

    Uh, except the last one.

  3. Joseph J. Finn3:36 PM

    BTW, I just want to say that even though I have little interest in the Bee, I appreciate how much enthusiasm you all have for this.  I'm nejoying it by proxy, so to speak.

    (National Geographic Bee!  That's more my style!)

  4. Marsha4:00 PM

    I think Samir Patel is actually the answer to 2 and 3. He placed second and third, right? And one of those times would ahve been before he was a 7th grader.

    No clue on the rest, but I'll guess 17 words for #1.

    <span>1.  18 words, 2006.  Kerry Close won on "ursprache", beating out Finola Hackett (runner-up) and Saryn Hooks (3rd place).  This was also the only time the Championship Word List spellers were all girls.
    2.  Samir Patel, 2005 (tied for second as a sixth-grader)
    3.  Sean Conley, 2000 (runner-up) and 2001(winner).  Tim Ruiter could have done it this year, but precedent was against him: Sidharth Chand failed to make a return trip to the List last year, and Samir Patel missed twice after his 2005 runner-up tie.
    4.  Brothers Pratyush Buddiga (2002, winner) and Akshay Buddiga (2004,  runner-up). 
    5.  Sai Gunturi, 2003 missed "gadarene" (spelling it "gadorene"); won on "pococurante".</span>

  6. BeeFan6:12 PM

    Note for Marsha:  Yes, Samir finished 3rd in 2003, but he didn't get to spell from the Championship Word List.  The round in which he was eliminated began with five spellers.  Evelyn Blacklock and Sai Gunturi (the eventual winner) spelled correctly.  Samir missed along with Trudy McLeary and JJ Goldstein. 

    (Interesting trivial about Trudy and JJ:  Trudy was the Jamaican middle schools oratory champ at the time she competed in the Bee.  Not surprising if you remember her stentorian manner of speaking.  JJ was a US national schools Scrabble champ.  Bee kids rock.)

  7. Jennifer J.1:29 AM

    Adam: I wasn't sure where to put this question. My apologies if it goes against any rules. I was curious, if anyone had time, would the blog compile a list of the 48 finalists and let us all know who we won't get to see again vs. who we might get to see based on eligibility? Thanks for the consideration. :)

  8. Well, here's the list of semifinalists.  Cross off anyone who's in 8th grade. :)

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