Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I-O-Q-R-Z-QUATRO: Welcome back to the microphone, Meghana Giri, as Round 3 begins with 266 spellers remaining.

2:07 pm: Seven kids down so far out of the first 60 spellers. It's a slightly harder round, but not impossibly so. Still, 200+ kids will spell both words correctly today, and only ~50 of them get to move on to tomorrow.

2:47 pm: Sometimes you get "reconcilable," "discrete," or "dowager"; sometimes you get "mussitation" or "piloncillo." Life ain't fair.

4:06 pm: Blind speller Richelle Zampella of Oklahoma is among the many who've survived this round so far -- again, about a 90% success rate.

4:26 pm: If it's the National Spelling Bee, there must be room for broo-suh-LO-siss, and for me to find a proper Warren Zevon performance for a link.

4:54 pm: Your alternate definitions for "wafflestomper" are welcome.

5:00 pm: 239/281 spellers remain. Announcement of the final < 50 is forthcoming.

5:25 pm: There are 41 semifinalists, who achieved a score of at least 32 out of 36 including the computerized parts.  List to come; our pool to open at 7:30pm once I figure out this year's rules on repeaters.  Added: Because of delays on my end, we'll open the pool at 10pm tonight. (Maybe a little later.)


  1. Genevieve1:32 PM

    Words I've never heard in real life but know from literature: "ratafia" from Georgette Heyer, "Baedecker" from E.M. Forster, and "kirtle" from C.S. Lewis.
    And the Tenth Doctor really should have used "totipotency" (the ability to regenerate body parts).
    Baseball fans: have you ever heard of "yannigan" before?

  2. bristlesage2:03 PM

    I haven't been to lunch yet, and the Bee is making me hungry. So many food words!

  3. lisased2:23 PM

    I'm recovering from surgery, and my caregiver is listening to me yell at the screen and laughing at me ("C'mon! You KNOW that word!").

  4. Adam B.2:23 PM


  5. Devin McCullen2:28 PM

    Yes, I've heard of yannigan, but it's an old word. It was used 100 years ago. It's been in the Bee before, though.

  6. BeeFan2:33 PM

    I see that Grace Remmer correctly spelled "peloton" in her regional bee. You'd be amazed how many cycling enthusiasts "know" it's "peleton". English-speaking ones, anyway.

  7. Adam B.2:45 PM

    Jesus. Some of these kids weren't born when I first started live-blogging the Bee.

  8. Genevieve2:47 PM

    "NationalSpellingBee ‏@ScrippsBee 21m
    Two straight #downtonabbey #downtonPBS references in #spellingbee sentence examples. Unfortunately both spellers missed their words." Does anyone remember the sentences? I'm following on twitter but can't watch.

  9. Genevieve2:52 PM

    You can take a sample test here to see how you'd do on the written and vocab tests. (I think the sample seems easier than the actual written test - I got one wrong, and I think when I've looked at the actual written tests before, there were usually between two and five that I would've gotten wrong). Then you do words for round 2 and 3, and get your total score, which later you can look at to see if you would've advanced to the semifinals.

  10. Genevieve2:53 PM

    Here, that is:

  11. BeeFan2:59 PM

    Adam, what's the plan for the pool this year? Is it before or after the 7:00-7:45 computer-based test? It looks like the schedule is a bit different this year.

  12. Adam B.2:59 PM

    I disagree with its definitions on "audiophile."

  13. Adam B.3:02 PM

    It'll be at some point tonight; I don't see how tonight's test will affect the schedule. We'll have a list of <50 names at some point, and I'll see what makes sense.

  14. Genevieve3:04 PM

    Me too. I did like we tell kids to do on multiple choice tests and went with the closest one / eliminated clearly wrong ones. But it should be something like "intense fan of listening to music, with strong views about the quality of sound and technology for same," right?

  15. isaac_spaceman3:30 PM

    It's like that thing of where you achieve a state of inner harmony when a midget gives you bedhead

    It's like that thing of where an Italian bartender fixes you a liqueur drink in one of those pyramids where the Sleestaks lived in Land of the Lost

  16. Maret Orliss5:35 PM

    FYI, on twitter Ben Greenman (@BenGreenman) has been doing some great tweeting about the bee. I enjoy following him normally, but think he's a worthy follow for bee-lovers at this time.

  17. Scott5:52 PM

    Speller #273 is the first Seattle semifinalist in some years. She's sponsored by a cultural center, since the newspaper won't support it any longer: a few years ago the speller was sponsored by a bar. I'm bringing her list of regional words home for my seven-year-old to master. Don't everybody else try to take her in the pool!

  18. BeeFan6:07 PM

    Hmmm. There seems to be a delay in posting the list of semifinalists on the Scripps website.

    Any idea why? Is somebody challenging a word or something?

  19. Genevieve6:13 PM

    They tweeted their numbers. But they tweeted 40 of them, after saying there were 41 semifinalists. Am confused. But happy to say that some of our favorites have made it through. (Apparently not my local folks, though.)

  20. Genevieve6:14 PM

    Thanks, Maret! Will read him on the way home.

  21. Adam B.6:17 PM

    Apparently, every 4- and 5-timer made it through, as did Vanya.

  22. BeeFan6:19 PM

    I consider Vanya a 7-timer. :-)

  23. So there was something going on, apparently. Per the Bee Twitter feed: "We now have 42 semifinalists. We've added #speller44 to the 41 previously announced. Details to follow at"

  24. Genevieve7:28 PM

    Even with that addition, I think they're missing one in their tweets. I counted a few times and only came up with 40.

  25. It amazes me how many of the kids have their own Twitter feeds of the whole event, such as @SterlingSpells, who is more eloquent and mature about the whole event than myself in 6th grade.

  26. Look, I'm not sure about this, but I kind of wondered if @SterlingSpells had at least one of his parents tweeting on his behalf. At one point, the account sent a tweet today while another entrant was spelling - and I don't think Sterling himself could have had a smart phone on stage!

  27. BeeFan7:52 PM

    I see Ashwin Veeramani made it. So Vanya's not the only speller trying to follow a sister into the championship.

  28. I would definitely not be surprised. It makes me feel a little better about myself too ;)