Saussurite, a mineral consisting of a tough compact substance that is white, greenish or grayish and is produced in part at least by alteration of feldspar, felled one of our final spellers.
Tejas Muthusamy, speller 143, said he was “definitely a little bit relieved” to make it to the Finals after missing them last year.
“I wasn’t scared because I knew I studied a whole lot more,” he said.
Tejas said he didn’t know one of the words that he spelled earlier in the day. But when he got it right, it was the first time he had correctly spelled a word on stage that he didn’t know.
“It gave me a sense of confidence,” he said. “Most likely I’m going to get a word I don’t know. Now I have the confidence to spell it correctly. There’s no confidence like actually being on stage, getting a word.”
Tejas, a Virginia eighth grader, is trying to soak in everything in his last Bee.
“I’m never going to get an experience as rewarding or fun as this,” he said.
Tejas is in his fourth Bee. He places eighth in 2014, seventh in 2015 and tied for 22nd last year.
"Even champions who spell every word correctly don't know every word in the Bee," he said. "I've accepted that."