Siddarth is out

Siddarth Krishnakumar, speller 238, is in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee because the family of speller 237, Shobha Dasari, moved to another school district, his mother said.

Cole is in

Cole Shafer-Ray, speller 200, stopped mid-spelling to get the definition again. He spelled "tortillon" correctly, air-typing, to stay in.

The sentence garnered chuckles:

While looking for her dropped tortillon in art class, Laura found yesterday's chewing gum - and it was still good.

Dev is out

Dev Jaiswal, speller 132, has been feeling good all week.

After competing in the national bee in 2012, Dev was beaten at the local level for the next two years. So this, his eighth grade year, is a most triumphant return.

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.