The spelling bee


Five Minnesota kids are participating in the national spelling bee which got underway today. Here’s how serious this stuff is: A CNBC writer has handicapped the competition, downgrading one contestant because he’s blogging for the local paper. What’s next? Office brackets?

Profiles of the Minnesota students participating are posted on the bee’s Web site. The contestants are Ryan Kisch of Barnesville, Daniel Halvorson of Mankato, Anja Beth Swoap of Edina, Laura Galbus of Rochester, and Audrey Lothspeich of Staples.

In round 2 this morning, Lothspeich advanced by correctly spelling perishable, Kisch got maverick, Halvorson spelled roulette correctly, Swoap got ludicrous right and Galbus scored with initiate.

Words that tripped up contestants in the third round (but not the Minnesota kids) include giusto, kibbutzim, Sarsar, fettuccelle, and turgescent , all of which are also highlighted by my blog program’s spell-checker..

Update 2:40 p.m. – Correct answers for Kisch (maquiladora ), Halvorson (pestis) , and Swoap (koinonia ), and Lothspeich (tintinnabulation).

Update 3:01 p.m. Galbus was tripped up on mousseline (mouseline).

Update 5:56 p.m. – Here’s the list of semifinalists. Unfortunately, none of the Minnesota kids advanced. The scoring system involved more than the two rounds of answering correctly (or incorrectly).

Photo: Getty Images

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