Ryan Himmelsbach, onstage and set to clinch a second trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, hadn’t recognized what would become the winning word: “teleost.” He may have skimmed the term describing jawed fish during his meticulous study of hard-to-spell word lists, he recalled.
Whether the fourth letter should have been an “i” flickered in his mind, but he landed on “e.” The lack of a judge’s...
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