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This is Diary of a Spelling Bee Fanatic, a weekly review of the game that drives me out of my hivemind. In a good way. Sometimes. It is probably also worth mentioning that the Diary is a work of fiction.
Read past Diary entries here, and join the daily discussion in the forum.
Monday, April 17 (Letters HIPNRAG):
“I am really upset,” Peter says as we walk into group therapy. “How is PARAGRAPHING a word?”
“Yeah, I saw that, too,” I say. “I’m a writer, and I never realized that I could use that as a job description on my résumé: ‘Spent decades PARAGRAPHING for various media outlets.’”
It turns out that we are not the only Spelling Bee fanatics wondering about the inclusion of that word. I notice that Sid the mime looks disgruntled.
“You OK, Sid?” I ask.
In response, Sid rolls his eyes dramatically and mimes typing on a keyboard. He pokes an index finger in my direction to indicate a period at the end of a sentence and then sweeps his arm forcefully from right to left. He looks particularly morose.
“What’s he doing?” Peter whispers to me.
“I think he’s starting a new paragraph,” I reply.
“With his arm?”
“I’m pretty sure he’s using a typewriter,” I say. It occurs to me that Peter and Rhonda, the youngest members of the group, may not be familiar with the mechanics of the precursors of desktop computers.
Sid overhears this and rolls his eyes again. He resumes typing into the air. When he’s finished, he scowls and maintains eye contact with Peter while double-tapping an imaginary “return” button.
“So I guess we’ve learned that Sid was puzzled by the word PARAGRAPHING as well,” I say.
Sid crosses his arms and nods grumpily.
“And I learned not to anger a mime,” Peter says.
A word that should have been accepted but wasn’t:
HAIRPANG: Envy of someone with a full head of hair, among the follicularly challenged.
Tuesday, April 18 (Letters LYEMINT):
My mother FaceTimes me from Florida to tell me that she and my father are going out to lunch. Normally, there would be no need to announce something as mundane as a midday meal, but today is special because the dining room in their senior living complex has been temporarily closed by the board of health.
“Did someone get sick?” I ask, worriedly. “How are you both feeling?”
“Oh, we’re fine!” my mother says as she applies her lipstick. “This whole thing is ridiculous. One typo and we have to find another place to eat.”
“A typo?” I ask. “What kind of typo?”
“The kitchen manager sent out the morning email that lists the meals for the day, and for lunch he was offering soup.”
“What’s wrong with soup?” I ask. Call me a cockeyed optimist if you must, but I feel confident that we will get to the point within my lifetime.
“He wrote that he was serving LINTEL soup,” my mother says with a shrug. “As opposed to LENTIL.”
“I can see how that might be a problem,” I reply. “So how did that result in a board of health closure?”
“Well, there are a lot of cliques of retired people here,” my mother explains while applying her mascara. “The masons thought it was pretty funny, but the lawyers called the police.”
“And that’s how the board of health got involved?” I ask.
“No, the orthodontists called the board of health,” my mother replies impatiently, as if I’m not keeping up with the story line. “The lawyers wanted to represent the kitchen staff in court.”
“What the heck is going on down there?”
“Don’t even get me started,” my mother says. “I have to run. Your father is hungry and needs to eat.”
“Don’t order the soup.”
A word that should have been accepted but wasn’t:
YELEMENT: A decibel measurement of the sound of someone shouting.
Wednesday, April 19 (Letters NEDLCUH):
I really feel for Sam Ezersky, the Spelling Bee editor. All day long he sits at his desk, by himself, in an undisclosed location, deciding which words to accept in the game and which words to reject. It’s a lonely job, and sometimes he has to reject words that he is intimately familiar with, but that he knows solvers are not.
Today’s rejection is “unclued,” which any crossword constructor knows as the state of a puzzle grid before the clues are written. That must have taken a lot of restraint on his part, especially since he must have at least one unclued puzzle sitting in front of him as you read this.
The man deserves a Pulitzer.
A word that should have been accepted but wasn’t:
UNLULLED: Describing the state of consciousness immediately after one’s alarm goes off.
Thursday, April 20 (Letters NMOHPAE):
I’m happy to find a table near an electrical outlet at my local coffee shop. Not only do I get a change of scenery from my home office, but I can work without the fear that my laptop battery will conk out on me.
In the afternoon, one of my neighbors enters the shop with her son Jonah. Jonah is a very intelligent third grader who once asked me to urge Sam to allow the word “poopy” in the Bee so that he and his friends could enter the word “poopyhead.” His mother tells me that he is over that phase, which is a great relief to everyone, especially Sam.
I note that Jonah does not look happy.
“He’s not talking to me,” Jonah’s mother explains. “I took away his phone.”
“Why?” I ask. I’m not really sure I want to hear the answer to this question, but it slips out before I can stop myself.
“Jonah got himself into a bit of trouble at school today,” she says with a frown at her son, who looks as if he would like the floor to swallow him whole. “He and his friends discovered the word PEEN and made a bit of a ruckus in class.” Jonah blushes a bit and crosses his arms.
“PEEN as in hammer?” I ask.
“Yes, but that’s not what they thought it meant,” Noah’s mother says.
“Ah,” I reply to her. Then I turn to her son. “You’re right, Jonah,” I say. “It is a funny-sounding word. But it’s a type of hammer, not — the other thing.”
“Do you think he’s learned his lesson?” I continue. “Maybe you can give him back his phone now.”
Jonah looks expectantly at his mom.
“I don’t think so,” his mother says, shaking her head. “Maybe tomorrow.”
Jonah ignores his mother and asks if he can use my phone.
“Is it OK if he borrows my phone?” I ask his mother.
“Fine by me,” she shrugs. “As long as it’s not his own.”
Jonah opens the Spelling Bee app on my phone, and his thumbs fly across the keyboard. He turns the phone around to show me what he has written. It says “meanmom,” which, of course, is not accepted.
I nod empathetically and gently take my phone back. I look up at Jonah’s mother.
“I hate to tell you this,” I say, “but words like PEEN will never not be funny to Jonah.”
“Oh, I know,” his mother says. “My husband thought it was hilarious.”
Words that should have been accepted but weren’t:
AMENHOOP: Also known as a wing-and-a-prayer shot in a basketball game.
PHENOMENOM: The highest possible rating from a restaurant food critic.
Friday, April 21 (Letters IRVULTA):
This is a tough one. I have spent most of my time today inching toward Amazing, one point at a time, and now I am stuck.
Then the pangram VIRTUAL floats into view. Sometimes this game feels like the computer-generated art where you can’t see the figure until you look at it a certain way. Only 12 more points before I reach Genius, but the word well is dry.
In desperation, I type in “vulturial,” an avian adjective that I made up. That, of course, doesn’t work, but it does help me notice RIAL, TRIVIA and TRIVIAL.
Dinnertime is approaching, and I am getting hungry. My brain starts searching for food-related words, and that helps me see RAITA and TUTTI, as in tutti-frutti.
Just as I get ready to close my work laptop for the day, I notice that I need only six more points to reach Genius. I rotate the hive a few times for good luck, which helps me spot the word RITUAL.
And there’s Beeatrice, wearing her mortarboard. I reached Genius by a hair, but at this point in the week, that’s good enough for me.
A word that should have been accepted but wasn’t:
ULTRATRIVIAL: Extremely unimportant.
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GNP(s) — Genius, No Pangram(s): You've gotten to Genius without finding a pangram. Hivemind — The name of the Spelling Bee community. QB — Queen Bee, the highest score possible in a given puzzle, and an Easter egg level in the game. You've found all of the possible words in the puzzle.What is the highest level in spelling bee? ›
See Queen Bee. The highest rank in Spelling Bee, achieved by finding every word in the puzzle. Sometimes used to refer to the total number of points available in a puzzle.What is the genius level in spelling bee? ›
Points Needed for Genius: 134
Genius requires between 17 and 35 words. You need at least a 8-letter word to reach genius. If you don't get the pangram, you need 77% of the total points to reach genius. If you get the pangram, you only need 67% of the remaining points to reach genius.
The Phantom Tollbooth (1970) - Shepard Menken as Spelling Bee, Chroma The Great - IMDb.Do good spellers have high IQ? ›
We have a long history of linking spelling skills to intelligence. We think people who can't spell are ignorant, illiterate, or stupid, despite having research dating back to the 1970s that shows that there is no significant association between spelling ability and intelligence.What is the hardest word to spell in spelling bee? ›
- Milieu. Year: 1985. Origin: This word went from Latin to French. ...
- Smaragdine. Year: 1961. Origin: This word is from Latin. ...
- Soubrette. Year: 1953. ...
- Albumen. Year: 1928. ...
- Eudaemonic. Year: 1960. ...
- Chiaroscurist. Year: 1998. ...
- Autochthonous. Year: 2004. ...
- Insouciant. Year: 1951.
Players need to make words of four or more letters using the given letters, and always have to include the center letter. There's always one pangram, which means a word that uses all seven of the letters and counts for big points.Is spelling bee good for brain? ›
Spelling Bee competition helps improves cognitive skills
Cognitive skills are those that your brain uses to think, read, remember, learn, reason, and pay attention. Spelling bee helps your child learn how to break down huge words and spell them the correct manner.
In general terms, the Scripps National Spelling Bee program is open to students who have neither turned 16 nor passed beyond the eighth grade, and who attend schools that are officially enrolled with our program for the current academic year.What happens if you get all spelling bee words? ›
Each puzzle is guaranteed to have at least one pangram, which awards the player the largest number of points when found. If the player finds all of the possible words in a given puzzle, they achieve the title of "Queen Bee".
In general terms, the Scripps National Spelling Bee program is open to students who have neither turned 16 nor passed beyond the eighth grade, and who attend schools that are officially enrolled with our program for the current academic year.How many people get genius every day on spelling bee? ›
Those who do reach Genius — the number varies widely depending upon the difficulty of a given puzzle, but Mr. Summerlin estimated it at between 12 and 45 percent of all players — are greeted by Beeatrice donning a scholar's mortarboard.Who is the bee master for Spelling Bee? ›
That would be Jacques Bailly, the Bee's official pronouncer. He's the guy who records word pronunciations that students use to practice, reads each word in the competition and announces the winner each year. You might call him The Bee Master.Who is the person who calls words in Spelling Bee? ›
The pronouncer at the National Spelling Bee does much more than simply speak the words out loud. He or she provides all the information a speller can receive about that special word in the moment: its origin, its grammatical part of speech, and an example or two of its use in a sentence.Why is Humbugs name appropriate for him? ›
Trivia. The Humbug's name is a pun on the word "Humbug". Humbug literally means a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle. He also says "Everyone likes a humbug", which could be a reference to the lollies.Can you be smart but bad at spelling? ›
Kids and adults can be very smart and have trouble with spelling. Some people are fast thinkers but slow spellers. They may be full of ideas but only write down a few words because spelling takes so much time and energy.Do geniuses have messy writing? ›
Studies have suggested that gifted people often have terrible handwriting because their brains are working faster than their hands.Do people with high IQ read fast? ›
When it comes to published studies, there is no recognized connection between speed reading and IQ or intelligence. If anything, the correlation is not strong enough for it to be considered factual.What is the #1 misspelled word? ›
The 10 most misspelled words in the U.S.
"Foreign" and "promise" are each misspelled at a higher than average rate in three U.S. states, more than any other word, according to the website. Here's a list of the most misspelled words for each U.S. state.
Every year, hundreds of kids across the country come together to compete for the coveted honor of being the best speller in America. Many of these winners go on to have future success. Some even return to the Spelling Bee to work there as adults. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The letter “s” is never used – plurals would be too easy – and the rules about colloquialisms are vague. Sometimes Spelling Bee will accept words like mamma and mama but never dada or dadda (though daddy is ok). Abbreviations, hyphenated and most foreign words are verboten.What pangram uses every letter once? ›
The most well known English pangram is probably “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. My favorite pangram is “Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes.” A perfect pangram is a pangram where each of the letters appears only once.What causes people to be bad spellers? ›
Spelling problems, like reading problems, originate with language learning weaknesses. Therefore, spelling reversals of easily confused letters such as b and d, or sequences of letters, such as wnet for went are manifestations of underlying language learning weaknesses rather than of a visually based problem.What do you call someone who is good at spelling? ›
Definition of 'speller'Is spelling bee grade level? ›
The Spelling Bee competition is for students in grades 4 through 8. The Bee helps students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage.How old was the youngest spelling bee winner? ›
Avant-Garde was 14-years-old when she won.What is the average age of the spelling bee winners? ›
Most national spelling bee champions are usually around 13 years old when they win.Is there a spelling bee for adults? ›
Hence, the creation of this adult spelling bee. The contest is open to the best spellers in high school and older, ages 18+.Is spelling hard for ADHD? ›
Many kids with ADHD struggle with spelling problems. They have difficulty learning to spell new words, may take longer to think through how to spell a word and write it down on the page, and make mistakes spelling simple words that they had previously memorized.
Accommodate. “Accommodate” was the most commonly misspelled word on both Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com in 2021. Kelly believes this word tops both lists because it's so hard to remember that both the C and the M are doubled. With both consonants doubled like that, it almost looks wrong, but it's correct.What skills are developed from spelling bee? ›
The benefits of spelling bees extend beyond language: Since children are required to spell words while on stage, kids also develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure.Will there be a spelling bee 2023? ›
The 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place the week of Memorial Day 2023 at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Visit spellingbee.com beginning May 1, 2023, for a full competition schedule.What do you get for winning the school spelling bee? ›
In addition to bragging rights and a trophy, the champion of the Scripps competition will win $52,5000 in cash prizes, and $400 worth of Encyclopedia Britannica works.Does spelling bee get progressively harder? ›
The participants are tested on the spelling of these words in the first round, and on their meanings in the second. After that, any word in the dictionary is fair game, which jumps the word count from 4,000 to around 470,000, and the words become progressively more difficult in each successive round.What age is bee genius for? ›
One Player Game For Ages 3+ Children: This genius tabletop family game is no time limit & it's not a race.Who is the best speller in the world? ›
Harini Logan has been declared the winner of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee in a historic spell-off, after several rounds left two spellers tied.What are the benefits of winning spelling bee? ›
The valuable learning outcome of spelling bee results in the children gaining competency over vocabulary and this allows them to excel at reading and writing. The ability to understand more words will allow your children to become literate and enjoy reading an extensive range of material.Who won the 2023 spelling bee? ›
Congratulations to Emanya Sibu, a fourth grader from Indian Trail Elementary School, for winning the 2023 UCPS Spelling Bee!Who is the best spelling bee player? ›
The newly crowned 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner, Zaila Avant-garde, holds three Guinness World Records for her ability to dribble multiple basketballs at a time.
The concept of young people competing to spell words goes back to at least 1808 - but it is likely that there were informal competitions long before then. The 'bee' in spelling bee is likely derived from the old English word 'bēn' or 'bene' which at various times meant 'prayer', 'favour' or 'help given by neighbours'.What percentage of people are genius in spelling bee? ›
The longest word entered in most standard English dictionaries is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis with 45 letters. Our definition is "a lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust." The entry for this word can be found in our Medical Dictionary.Why is The Phantom Tollbooth banned? ›
A librarian from Boulder, Colorado once locked this book away from her public library after declaring it “poor fantasy” — a fate that many books that explore human nature and their relationship to rules and authority have encountered.What do bob humbug mean? ›
Bah humbug is an exclamation that conveys curmudgeonly displeasure. The phrase is most famously used by Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol (1843).Why can't Scrooge say humbug? ›
In A Christmas Carol , Dickens uses it to suggest fraud, since Scrooge, old curmudgeon that he is, considers the celebration of Christmas, and all the festivities associated with it, to be a total sham.What are the ranks in spelling bee? ›
The 2020-2021 School Spelling Bee Study List is broken down into three levels of difficulty: One Bee, Two Bee and Three Bee.How many levels are there in spell bee competition? ›
for a classroom or school spelling bee
The School Spelling Bee Study List is divided into three levels of difficulty: One Bee, Two Bee and Three Bee.
The solution to the Second-highest rank in Spelling Bee crossword clue should be: GENIUS (6 letters)
Players need to make words of four or more letters using the given letters, and always have to include the center letter. There's always one pangram, which means a word that uses all seven of the letters and counts for big points.What is the most difficult word to spell? ›
Prize sponsor Merriam-Webster will provide the ultimate winner with a $2,500 cash prize and reference library, while Encyclopædia Britannica will give $400 of reference works, including a 1768 Encyclopædia Britannica Replica Set and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium.What grades do you have to be to get national spelling bee? ›
In general terms, the Scripps National Spelling Bee program is open to students who have neither turned 16 nor passed beyond the eighth grade, and who attend schools that are officially enrolled with our program for the current academic year. For more details, please see the complete list of eligibility requirements.What are the benefits of spelling bee champion? ›
The valuable learning outcome of spelling bee results in the children gaining competency over vocabulary and this allows them to excel at reading and writing. The ability to understand more words will allow your children to become literate and enjoy reading an extensive range of material.What happens if you get all the words in Spelling Bee? ›
Each puzzle is guaranteed to have at least one pangram, which awards the player the largest number of points when found. If the player finds all of the possible words in a given puzzle, they achieve the title of "Queen Bee".What is the oldest you can be to be in the Spelling Bee? ›
|Scripps National Spelling Bee|
|30th Scripps National Spelling Bee|
|Date||June 7, 1957|
|Location||Department of Commerce auditorium, Washington, D.C.|
|Winner||Dana Bennett / Sandra Owen (tie)|
|Age||13 / 14|