"What is it?" asked Brendan Pawlicki, speller 99, upon hearing his word, desman.
The audience chuckled.
"Huh," he said, upon learning it was a an aquatic insectivorous mammal of Russia that resembles a mole.
Brendan, a Michigan fifth grader, is out.
So is Paul Hamrick, speller 109, who misspelled occiput, the back part of the skull.
He's a California seventh grader.