Must there be a time limit?

Katharine Wang (Speller 147) had one request when she heard her word, "solecize."

"Can we get rid of the time limit?" she asked.

The time limit stayed, but the Morristown, New Jersey seventh grader spelled the word correctly.

Katharine tied for 51st place in 2012 and 33rd place last year.


The Amazing Prune Man strikes again

This time, the Bee super hero was given a costume.

"The Amazing Prune Man wears a purple tunic and a blue cape made of flannelette," Dr. Bailly read.

Alexander Hauer (Speller 144) correctly spelled "flannelette" after telling Dr. Bailly that he was "awake now."

But the Amazing Prune Man didn't win any more fans.

"Nice costume, but he's not the best super hero," the Blackwood, New Jersey eighth grader said.


At the half

At the halfway point of Round Three, there were 14 more spellers eliminated. There are so far 114 spellers that are eligible to continue on to the semifinals.

Up to 50 spellers will go on to the semifinals, based on a combination of their on-stage spelling and their preliminary test.

Dog, dog, duck!

We've expanded into waterfowl.

Nathaniel Britton (Speller 121) received the word "garganey."

"It's a duck. Not a dog," Dr. Bailly said.

The Shelby Township, Michigan seventh grader spelled the word correctly.


Good friend to have

It's nice to have friends in high places.

"It's your childhood buddy Neha," Neha Seshadri (Speller 115) told Dr. Bailly, "so please give me a word I know."

"I'll try," he said.

Neha got "ultimo." She spelled it correctly.

The Novi, Michigan eighth greater tied for 12th in last year's Bee.


A lame super hero?

Mitchell Robinson (Speller 113) isn't a fan of the Bee's new super hero. He made his first appearance when Mitchell got his word, "Jacuzzi."

"After falling asleep in the Jacuzzi, Brendan began fighting crime under the moniker 'The Amazing Prune Man,'" Dr. Bailly read.

"He sounds like a really lame super hero," the Marblehead, Massachusetts sixth grader quipped.

He spelled his word correctly.




It's another dog

It's an animal-heavy day at the Bee.

In addition to the second round dogs, spellers have been given breeds of cattle -- Beefalo and Holstein.

So when Tajaun Gibbison (Speller 87) heard his word -- papillon  -- he had just one question.

"Is this a dog?" the Jamaica eighth grader asked.

"Yes, it is," Dr. Bailly replied.

Tajaun spelled it correctly.


Meeting the goal

Sterling Hollond (Speller 89) was eliminated in Round Three in his Bee appearance last year.

His goal this year was to spell his word correctly in that round.

Sterling got "legionnaire" and spelled it correctly.


It's a high bar

Oh, those funny sentences. The bar is getting high.

"Your sentences just got weirder," Isabel Cholbi (Speller 18) told Dr. Bailly when she heard hers, for tinnient:

The tinnient sound of the store's door chime marked the arrival of Sandra, the strange lady who touched everything and never bought anything.

Jacob Williamson (Speller 38) wanted a funny sentence for "impasto."

"Not off the cuff," Dr. Bailly said.

"All right, I got this one," Jacob said, not wanting a sentence that wouldn't make him laugh.