Another eliminated

Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, speller 16, held the microphone and bit her lip. With one arm crossed in front of her, she tried to figure out "oflag," a German prison camp for officers.

She misspelled, and is out. Snehaa raised her eyebrows as she heard the correct spelling.

More opportunities

Shreyas Muthusamy, Tejas' brother, was hoping Tejas would win so he could come to the national bee next year. Shreyas finished second to Tejas, speller 264, in the local competition.

But Tejas, a sixth grader who was eliminated, plans to return.

"I feel less pressure than all the eighth graders here," he said. "I can still come back next year and the year after. Think of how good I'll be in eighth grade."


Tejas Muthusamy, speller 264, is a returning finalist. That doesn't mean he knows every word he comes across -- even if he can spell them.

His word, "billiken," is "probably formed from a name plus an English combining form," Dr. Bailly said.

"Yay," Tejas said. It means a squat smiling comic figure used as a mascot.

Tejas got it right.

In it

Siddharth Krishnakumar, speller 238, bit his lower lip as he asked Dr. Bailly to repeat the pronunciations of "Albumblatt." He got it right, and is still in the competition.

Sing along

Dr. Bailly gave a quick "ba-dum-dum" to explain "bacchius" which means a metrical foot of three syllables, the first short, the other two long.

Dev Jaiswal, speller 132, looked nervous at the microphone, but he spelled the word correctly.

Dev pumped his fists after he got it right, rushed away, then rushed back to the microphone to say thank you to Dr. Bailly.

Say it five times

Siyona Mishra, speller 39, heard her word.

"Could you, like, say it five times?" she asked Dr. Bailly.

He did, and she nodded after each repetition.

"Was that five?" he asked.

"Yeah," she replied.

"Hacek," he said again.

But Siyona misspelled, and is out.