Spelling Bee 2023 Word List Pdf

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In our most recent dictionary update, we changed the spelling of the primary headword from anti-Semitism to antisemitism. (The entry still notes the form anti-Semitism, which remains in widespread use.)noun. a genre of fiction, encompassing both speculative and realist works, in which climate change and other environmental concerns are major themes. Also called cli-fi.

Who is the 14-year-old spelling bee champion?
Dev Shah Dev Shah, a 14-year-old from Largo, Florida, won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee, correctly spelling “psammophile” to take the $50,000 first prize.
noun. Microbiology, Pathology. a genetically distinct form of a virus, bacteria, or other microorganism, which arises when a variant of the original strain mutates.

noun. a coup d’état performed by the current, legitimate government or a duly elected head of state to retain or extend control over government, through an additional term, an extension of term, an expansion of executive power, the dismantling of other government branches, or the declaration that an election won by an opponent is illegitimate.
noun. an instance or practice of acknowledging and promoting the civil liberties of the LGBTQ+ community, but superficially, as a ploy to divert attention from allegiances and activities that are in fact hostile to such liberties.

As new phenomena proliferate in our complex modern world, new terms emerge to capture their specificity—a process shaped and accelerated by online culture and digital discourse. This is especially the case for behaviors considered toxic or harmful; those wishing to shine a spotlight on such practices often do most effectively by giving them a specific name. noun. Chiefly Soccer. a coordinated display, including large banners, flags, and sometimes signs or cards, executed cooperatively or performed in unison by the most fervent supporters and ultra fans in the stadium. Example: Developers call this genre of game free-to-play, but the fact is you’ll never succeed without shelling out microtransactions at every level for the gear your character will need.The spelling talmbout is actually quite recent—the first written records of its use come from after 2014. It is just one example among many of representation—and appropriation—of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in pop culture and youth culture. noun. Informal. the tactic of intentionally provoking political opponents, typically by posting inflammatory content on social media, in order to elicit angry responses and thus high engagement or widespread exposure for the original poster. noun. a relatively inexpensive payment for part of a product or for an upgraded service or experience: often at the core of an alternative sales and revenue model for businesses to maximize profit with a very large volume of piecemeal or à la carte sales, rather than a single lump sum transaction for each full product sold.noun. a right-wing ideology that blames environmental harm mainly on poorer nations and on marginalized groups, such as immigrants and people of color in richer nations, and that consequently advocates remedial measures that unfairly target or even attack people who are already oppressed.

noun. a member or members of the LGBTQ+ community, used especially in the context of discrimination against or advocacy for a minoritized sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
noun. material added to a work of fiction for the perceived or actual purpose of appealing to the audience, used especially of material that is risqué or sexual in nature.The word Semitic is currently used as a linguistic term for a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician. Many of those who prefer the spelling antisemitism note that the use of the spelling with a capital S can falsely imply prejudice against all of the diverse groups of people who speak any of these languages—which is not how the word is used. Furthermore, use of the capital S spelling is interpreted by some as reinforcing an outdated pseudoscience of race that has been applied to Jewish peoples.

What is the hardest spelling bee word?
Top Ten Most Brutal Spelling Bee WordsMilieu. Year: 1985. Origin: This word went from Latin to French. … Smaragdine. Year: 1961. Origin: This word is from Latin. … Soubrette. Year: 1953. … Albumen. Year: 1928. … Eudaemonic. Year: 1960. … Chiaroscurist. Year: 1998. … Autochthonous. Year: 2004. … Insouciant. Year: 1951.
📝 This term was coined in 2022 (in the form rage farmed) by investigative reporter John Scott-Railton. Read about some other terms for negative practices that play out exclusively online.

📝 Standard, conventional spellings often do not reflect real-life pronunciations. We may write want to and going to, but we often say wanna and gonna. There is a long tradition of spelling words this way outside of formal contexts like papers for English class. This tradition particularly applies to dialectical pronunciations. In recent years, as more and more communication happens online, especially over social media, these colloquial, dialectical spellings have become increasingly visible. As a dictionary, we believe it’s important for us to capture these because they reflect how people communicate. As we spend more of our time communicating digitally, it’s a good reminder that we all have different degrees of register and formality in both our speech and our writing.
(in the United States) the telephone number for a mental health crisis hotline staffed by licensed counselors and other staff trained in suicide prevention.Remember, words that are new to the dictionary are not always new to the language (or even remotely recent). Furthermore, the addition of a word to the dictionary is not an endorsement, but rather a documentation of its use in the real world. Our mission is to be descriptive—we work to describe and document language as it is really used (not just how we or others may want it to be used).

Who is the spelling bee in 5th grade 2023?
Dev Shah is the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Dev, a 14-year-old speller from Largo, Florida, representing the SNSB Region One Bee, correctly spelled “psammophile” to win the Bee.
noun. the practice of taking or administering very small amounts of a psychoactive drug, such as cannabis, LSD, or psilocybin, to improve mood or enhance cognitive functioning, without hallucinogenic or other disorienting effects.📝 The first records of the term come from 2016. Derived from the expression “to have one’s cake and eat it, too,” the term is especially associated with Brexit and Boris Johnson.adjective. noting or relating to a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of more than one gender, used especially as an inclusive term to describe similar, related sexual orientations such as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, etc.noun. people; a variant spelling of “folks” (spelled with x not only as shorthand for the /ks/ sound, but also in parallel with other gender-inclusive spellings, like Latinx).

noun. unsolicited, one-sided sharing of traumatic or intensely negative experiences or emotions in an inappropriate setting or with people who are unprepared for the interaction.Our decision to use the closed (no hyphen) and fully lowercase spelling antisemitism for the primary headword reflects the fact that this is now the widely preferred form. Jewish groups have long preferred the single word spelling, and many style guides, including those of major publications, have also adopted it. noun. Slang. a marketing technique involving intentional homoeroticism or suggestions of LGBTQ+ themes intended to draw in an LGBTQ+ audience, without explicit inclusion of openly LGBTQ+ relationships, characters, or people. Historically significant moments. Stunningly advanced AI. Very expensive eggs. There is a lot happening out there, seeming as if it’s everything, everywhere, all at once. The events are relentless, but so is the pace with which language adapts to the changes—with new and newly prominent ways of referring to a wild variety of very specific things.As always, this update includes not only words that are new to the dictionary, but also new and revised senses of existing terms (including extremely well-known ones like sex and woke), as well as other changes, such as the spelling we use for particular headwords (notably, we now use the spelling antisemitism for the primary headword—a change whose significance we’ll explain below).

Self-coup, latine, rage farming, petfluencer, nearlywed, hellscape, talmbout, cakeage. Explore the explosive variety of new terms and meanings just added to Dictionary.com.
noun. a person who lives with another in a life partnership, sometimes engaged with no planned wedding date, sometimes with no intention of ever marrying.

What are the new words for 2023?
cakeage.digital nomad.nearlywed.hellscape.antifragile.northpaw.liminal space.Southern Ocean.
📝 This body of water was formerly (and is sometimes still) referred to as the Antarctic Ocean. The name Southern Ocean has gained in use as it has been officially recognized by cartographers, geographers, and oceanographers (who regard it as a body of water distinct from the other four oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic).noun. a language used at home and spoken natively by the adults in a family, but often not fully acquired by subsequent generations whose schooling and other socialization occurs primarily in a different language, usually a dominant or official language in the surrounding society.

adjective. of or relating to people of Latin American origin or descent (used especially by Spanish speakers in place of the anglicized gender-neutral form Latinx, the masculine form Latino, or the feminine form Latina).
📝 The addition of this disparaging sense of the term reflects a significant increase in its use in recent years, one that in many contexts has overtaken the positive sense.📝 Our update of the entry for sex includes revisions to multiple definitions that account for the current understanding of the range of ways the word can be used. See our new Sensitive Language Note at the entry, which addresses the many facets of sexual characteristics and how varied they can be from person to person. plural noun. long-lasting chemicals, including PFAS and hydrofluorocarbons, used in the manufacture of common household items such as refrigerators, nonstick cookware, and flame-resistant furniture, that remain in the environment because they break down very slowly, and subsequently accumulate within animals and people. See also biological accumulation. adjective. Disparaging. of or relating to a liberal progressive orthodoxy, especially promoting inclusive policies or ideologies that welcome or embrace ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities.

noun. a financial advisory firm for extremely wealthy private individuals that is designed to offer comprehensive management of all assets, especially one that serves a single family.
📝 The capitalized form Latine is also used. It’s important to note that preferences around these terms vary widely, and some speakers change which term they use depending on the situation. We’ll continue to capture new terms and uses as they evolve and continue to be discussed. Read about the difference between Latine and Latinx.There are, blessedly, almost countless different variations and preparations of bread. As more and more of these varieties become familiar outside of the cultures in which they originated, their names become part of the English lexicon.

Our lexicographers observe it all, documenting language change wherever it’s happening and defining the terms that help us to understand our times. The most recent additions to Dictionary.com come from just about everywhere, spanning the multiverse-like complexity of modern life: they are at once serious (self-coup, rage farming, trauma dumping), amusing (petfluencer), and everything in between (liminal space).
📝 Deadass is surprisingly flexible. As an adverb, it can also mean “very” or “extremely.” It’s also used as an adjective meaning “serious” or “sincere” and as an interjection to request confirmation of truth or to express surprise, similar to saying “Seriously?” Deadass has recently gained prominence as a slang term, but it is not new. It dates back to at least the 1960s in its original meaning of “wholly or completely.” It is yet another example of a slang term popularized by Black Americans that has since spread to—and been appropriated by—the broader culture, particularly young people.

noun. US Military. an often expansive area, at or adjacent to a base of operations, used for the uncontrolled, open-air burning of military waste, including plastics, chemicals, rubber, paint, fuels, munitions, human and medical waste, metals, and electronics: generative of toxic smoke and fumes that have been associated with a number of short- and long-term ailments suffered by exposed military personnel and civilians.Of course, some of the terms in the list below have more than one definition. We’ll be highlighting the most prominent or notable meanings relevant to this release.

Do spelling bee contestants get a list of words?
They are given printouts including words Nos. 770-1,110 — those used in the semifinal rounds and beyond — with instructions that those sheets of paper cannot leave the room. Hearing the words aloud with the entire panel present — laptops open to Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged dictionary — sometimes illuminates problems.
📝 The term is also sometimes used to refer to the animal featured in such content. Our lexicographers expect the ending -fluencer (from influencer) to be used in more compound terms (another example is grandfluencer).

With preparation and hard work, spelling bee participants have the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful experience that, who knows, may even lead them to sweet, sweet victory.
Hopeful contenders voraciously study Greek and Latin roots and how they have affected the language we use today, they learn multiple meanings of words and how they are used in different contexts, and they gather the various grammatical usage of different words. This acquisition strongly enhances literacy skills, which will take them far beyond the stage.Spelling bee competitions impart invaluable life social skills on its hopeful contenders. Not only do students spend weeks or months preparing and learning the value of hard work, they must learn to be patient and wait their turn, accept defeat if it occurs and still be able to cheer their fellow competitors on.

The term “spelling bee” generally conjures images of throngs of students with placards gently hanging around their necks, anxiously waiting in their seats on stage for their turn to traipse up to the single standing microphone, nervously wait for the moderator to reveal their word, and scan every cell in their brains for roots, prefixes, suffixes, and word origins to be able to correctly spell that word aloud, which thereafter the audience erupts into applause.
The cycle continues until the final student spells the winning word… confetti flies through the air, cheers are deafening within the auditorium, and that spelling bee champion accepts their hard-earned victory with two fists thrown straight up into the air.

Just like our muscles, our brains require stimulation to remain strong and healthy. Students in the throes of preparations for a spelling bee contests are learning strings of words repetitively, as well as word origins, definitions, and usage rules which boosts their memories and enhances their cognitive skills. It is a brain workout that will leave the brain in tip top shape to perform more difficult tasks. Students learn invaluable public speaking skills along with self-confidence and self-regulation. They must learn to think quickly, keep their nerves in check, and enunciate properly. Speaking in front of a crowd can make many adults nervous, so children who gain experience with this at a young age are more likely to become more and more comfortable with it as they grow up. Aside from the credit that accompanies winning a spelling bee competition, there are countless benefits that can be gleaned from the preparation process itself. Preparing for a spelling bee encourages students to read insatiably. The best way to come across unfamiliar words and learn them is to read across as many genres and types of writing possible. From novels, to magazine articles, to newspaper clippings, to blogs, to textbooks… the spelling bee contender is not only expanding their vocabulary at invaluable lengths but enhancing their cognition and intelligence while doing so.Though most people assume that preparing for a spelling bee is just the rote memorization of words, there is actually so much more complexity that goes into the process. Students engage in etymology, or the study of word origins and how they have changed throughout history.Here at 98 Percentile, a fast-growing online educational platform, we value the priceless benefits students can attain from participation in a spelling bee. We are hosting our very own Spell Kahoot competition for students around the country to engage in the rigor and triumph that accompany such a contest. Spell Kahoot combines the excitement of a traditional spelling bee with the fun and exhilaration of the beloved classroom game Kahoot.

Think back to the scene described at the beginning of this post. Being asked to spell “crustaceology” or “esquamulose” in front of a packed auditorium while standing alone under a bright spotlight is an incredible experience for learning to perform under pressure.It would be extremely difficult to keep your eyes dry if you were the proud parent of that child who has thrown hours and hours of work into preparing for this very moment… it is a truly priceless moment for parent and child alike. Students from Grades 1-6 can participate in the Spell Kahoot 3.0. The tone and level of the competition is set according to the grade levels. Prizes and scholarship worth $1000 are awarded for the winner in each category. To know more about our event, visit here – Register for the Spell Kahoot 3.0 event TODAY! English is the language with most words. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it has approximately 200,000 words. English is a global language with rich vocabulary, and a lot of words have been borrowed from other languages. As a result, it has become quite a challenge to keep up with the new words and their spellings.Needless to say, spelling bees evoke multiple emotions at once. Emotions can range from feeling tears of joy to heart-wrenching disappointment, from participation anxiety to excitement, from the time ticking away to that wait for the official pronouncer to say “YES! That is correct.” Phew!

The first-ever national spelling bee was held in 1925, and every year thousands of American school students partake in the spelling bee competition. School spelling bee winners usually go to the local spelling bee competition and then make it to the national spelling bee. Winning spelling bees is more than a matter of luck. Winners start studying for the contest years prior to the participation.Bee Week 2023 will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. On May 28, 231 spellers from across the country and around the world will arrive in the Washington, D.C., area. For these spellers, Bee Week will include much more than three days of nationally-televised competition.Since 1925, children across America have participated in classroom, school and regional spelling bees with the hope of making it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.The Bee program begins with millions of students across the country. Want to become a part of our mission of illuminating pathways to lifelong curiosity, celebrating academic achievement and enriching communities?The 21 panelists sit around a makeshift, rectangular conference table in a windowless room tucked inside the convention center outside Washington where the bee is staged every year. They are given printouts including words Nos. 770-1,110 — those used in the semifinal rounds and beyond — with instructions that those sheets of paper cannot leave the room.

“The dictionary is on the computer and is highly searchable in all kinds of ways — which the spellers know as well. If they want to find all the words that entered the language in the 1650s, they can do that, which is sometimes what I do,” Trinkle says. “The best words kind of happen to you as you’re scrolling around through the dictionary.”
Hearing the words aloud with the entire panel present — laptops open to Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged dictionary — sometimes illuminates problems. That’s what happened late in Sunday’s meeting. Kavya Shivashankar, the 2009 champion, an obstetrician/gynecologist and a recent addition to the panel, chimed in with an objection.The panel meets a few times a year, often virtually, to go over words, edit definitions and sentences, and weed out problems. The process seemed to go smoothly through the 2010s, even amid a proliferation of so-called “minor league” bees, many catering to offspring of highly educated, first-generation Indian immigrants — a group that has come to dominate the competition. Dasari says there are roughly 100,000 words in the dictionary that are appropriate for spelling bees. He pledges that 99% of the words on Scripps’ list are included in SpellPundit’s materials. Anyone who learns all those words is all but guaranteed to win, Dasari says — but no one has shown they can do it. Since the bee resumed after its 2020 pandemic cancellation, the panel has been scrutinized largely for the vocabulary questions, which have added a capricious element, knocking out some of the most gifted spellers even if they don’t misspell a word. Last year’s champion, Harini Logan, was briefly ousted on a vocabulary word, “pullulation” — only to be reinstated minutes later after arguing that her answer could be construed as correct.“They are fun and challenging for me and they make me smile, and I know if I was a speller I would be intimidated by that word,” says the 28-year-old Mishra, who just finished his MBA at Harvard. “I have no fear about running out (of words), and I feel good about that.”

Members of the panel insist they worry little about other bees or the proliferation of study materials and private coaches. But those coaches and entrepreneurs spend a lot of time thinking about the words Scripps is likely to use — often quite successfully.

What are the words for the spelling bee 2023?
The winning word was “psammophile,” an organism that prefers or thrives in sandy areas. “If you spell this next word correctly, we will declare you the 2023 National Spelling Bee champion: psammophile.” “Psammo, meaning ‘sand,’ Greek?
There will always be complaints about the word list, but making the competition as fair as possible is the panel’s chief goal. Missing hyphens or incorrect capitalization, ambiguities about singular and plural nouns or transitive and intransitive verbs — no question is too insignificant.The panel’s work has changed over the decades. From 1961 to 1984, according to James Maguire’s book American Bee, creating the list was a one-man operation overseen by Jim Wagner, a Scripps Howard editorial promotions director, and then by Harvey Elentuck, a then-MIT student who approached Wagner about helping with the list in the mid-1970s.

This year’s meeting includes five full-time bee staffers and 16 contract panelists. The positions are filled via word of mouth within the spelling community or recommendations from panelists. The group includes five former champions: Barrie Trinkle (1973), Bailly, George Thampy (2000), Sameer Mishra (2008) and Shivashankar.
For the panelists, the meeting is the culmination of a yearlong process to assemble a word list that will challenge but not embarrass the 230 middle- and elementary-school-aged competitors — and preferably produce a champion within the two-hour broadcast window for Thursday night’s finals.

The panel also began pulling words avoided in the past. Place names, trademarks, words with no language of origin: As long as a word isn’t archaic or obsolete, it’s fair game.
Zimmer is also sensitive to the criticism that some vocabulary questions are evaluating the spellers’ cultural sophistication rather than their mastery of roots and language patterns. This year’s vocabulary questions contain more clues that will guide gifted spellers to the answers, he says.

Mishra pulls his submissions from his own list, which he started when he was a 13-year-old speller. He gravitates toward “the harder end of the spectrum.”
(OXON HILL, Md.) — As the final pre-competition meeting of the Scripps National Spelling Bee‘s word selection panel stretches into its seventh hour, the pronouncers no longer seem to care.

Scripps, however, didn’t fundamentally change the way the word panel operates. It brought in younger panelists more attuned to the ways contemporary spellers study and prepare. And it made format changes designed to identify a sole champion. The wild-card program was scrapped, and Scripps added onstage vocabulary questions and a lightning-round tiebreaker.
In 2019, a confluence of factors — among them, a wild-card program that allowed multiple spellers from competitive regions to reach nationals — produced an unusually deep field of spellers. Scripps had to use the toughest words on its list just to cull to a dozen finalists. The bee ended in an eight-way tie, and there was no shortage of critics.“They’ve started to understand they have to push further into the dictionary,” says Shourav Dasari, a 20-year-old former speller and a co-founder with his older sister Shobha of SpellPundit, which sells study guides and hosts a popular online bee. “Last year, we started seeing stuff like tribal names that are some of the hardest words in the dictionary.”

“Our raison d’etre was to teach spellers a rich vocabulary that they could use in their daily lives. And as they got smarter and smarter, they got more in contact with each other and were studying off the same lists, it became harder to hold a bee with those same types of words,” Trinkle says.For decades, the word panel’s work has been a closely guarded secret. This year, Scripps — a Cincinnati-based media company — granted The Associated Press exclusive access to the panelists and their pre-bee meeting, with the stipulation that The AP would not reveal words unless they were cut from the list. Not everyone on the panel submits words. Some work to ensure that the definitions, parts of speech and other accompanying information are correct; others are tasked with ensuring that words of similar difficulty are asked at the right times in the competition; others focus on crafting the bee’s new multiple-choice vocabulary questions. Those who submit words, like Trinkle and Mishra, are given assignments throughout the year to come up with a certain number at a certain level of difficulty. “That gave us a sense of how very, very careful we need to be in terms of crafting these questions,” says Ben Zimmer, the language columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a chief contributor of words for the vocabulary rounds.By the time of this gathering, two days before the bee, the word list is all but complete. Each word has been vetted by the panel and slotted into the appropriate round of the nearly century-old annual competition to identify the English language’s best speller. The word gleyde (pronounced “glide”), which means a decrepit old horse and is only used in Britain, has a near-homonym — glyde — with a similar but not identical pronunciation and a different meaning. Shivashankar says the near-homonym makes the word too confusing, and the rest of the panel quickly agrees to spike gleyde altogether. It won’t be used. Before panelists can debate the words picked for the bee, they need to hear each word and its language of origin, part of speech, definition and exemplary sentence read aloud. Late in the meeting, lead pronouncer Jacques Bailly and his colleagues — so measured in their pacing and meticulous in their enunciation during the bee — rip through that chore as quickly as possible. No pauses. No apologies for flubs.

Who won 2023 spelling bee?
Dev Shah Dev Shah Becomes 2023 Spelling Bee Champion.
Although your children are still in their early phases of learning to read, it is not wrong to introduce challenging words. Also, a little challenge can boost their cognitive capabilities and enhance their English word collection.

Regional spelling bee winners receive a certificate from their local area sponsors with a subscription code from Merriam-Webster after winning their Final Local Bee. RSVBee participants receive a subscription code via email directly from the Scripps National Spelling Bee office.
We want our national finalists to be as prepared as possible for the national competition in National Harbor, Maryland. Merriam-Webster Unabridged is the official dictionary of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and every word from the competition will come from this source. All national finalists receive free access to a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online.Doug Mennella, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, posts a grid every day in the column’s comments section based on a computer program he wrote. Others did it before him, and he has since picked up the mantle. No doubt that there will be others to carry on after he can no longer do it, because community requires continuity.

“The Spelling Bee followers on social media feel like my extended family,” Ms. Koker said. “These days, that’s more valuable than ever. It’s a lot of what gets me up at 3 a.m. every day. I’ve also learned a lot from them.”
While The New York Times does not endorse such methods, RAFFIA is now an accepted word and subsequently, players were given a much easier way to vote for the inclusion of certain words. Those who are inclined to do so may write to [email protected] the hivemind feels that a word should be considered commonly known but is not accepted by the online game, the social media universe lights up in mock outrage at Mr. Ezersky, who works on the game on his own.

“I am often puzzled and frustrated,” said Colleen Bates Lance of Birmingham, Ala., in her response to a questionnaire posted on Wordplay — “that some simpler words, often having to do with flowers or plants — like vinca or Lantana — likely known to the large number of people who garden, are deemed unsuitable while technical terms that would seem to be familiar to a minuscule number of people are included.”

Is spelling bee just memorization?
Though most people assume that preparing for a spelling bee is just the rote memorization of words, there is actually so much more complexity that goes into the process. Students engage in etymology, or the study of word origins and how they have changed throughout history.
“I designed Beeatrice originally because I needed to fill some space,” he said. “When you start the game, players see an ‘Are you ready to start?’ screen like they do on the crossword, but it felt like it needed a visual. So I made a little bee that could be there to greet players and welcome them into the game.Posting her score on Twitter is not a humblebrag on Ms. Koker’s part. It is a sort of call for word nerds to the “Hivemind,” as the community is known among followers of the Bee. They will chat with Ms. Koker on Twitter (using the hashtags #hivemind, #spellingbee and #nytsb) and help each other achieve the best score they can, even if they do not reach Queen Bee glory. As soon as they wake up, of course.

Those who do reach Genius — the number varies widely depending upon the difficulty of a given puzzle, but Mr. Summerlin estimated it at between 12 and 45 percent of all players — are greeted by Beeatrice donning a scholar’s mortarboard. They have cleared the Beginner, Good Start, Moving Up, Good, Solid, Nice, Great and Amazing levels to do so.
“If there is anything I don’t recognize, I look it up to confirm that it isn’t just my own blind spot,” he continued. “But there are also what I call the ‘Scrabble words’ like PENK, TEIL and NIRL that I just know most players will not be familiar with and won’t try in the game. Anything that feels like a no-go — RAFFIA notwithstanding — is removed from the list.”

Readers are grateful for his work, and there is a lively discussion around each post, where players share hints to help one another break any mental logjams that might occur. And they celebrate players who post when they have solved the game for the first time on their own.
Spelling Bee was created as an alternative game for those who might not be interested in the New York Times Crossword. As such, it is edited by the game’s editor Sam Ezersky with an eye for words that can be considered familiar to a majority of solvers, as opposed to some of the tougher vocabulary that solvers see in crossword puzzles.

The best way to discover the pangram, in this player’s opinion, is to join a community that shares hints. At some point, players will get stuck, and they are faced with a couple of options. They can put their devices down and walk away for a while — this almost always works, because it’s easier to see new words with fresh eyes — or they can join a solving community that will be happy to help pry the logjam loose.
He added, “So I planned three new things — Spelling Bee, a small word puzzle by Patrick Berry and a small grid-logic puzzle, usually by Wei-Hwa Huang — to fit on top of the harder variety word puzzles we were already running.”

Peiling Tan of Singapore says that she reaches Great on most days, and she uses the game to learn new words. “I discover new words everyday thanks to the Spelling Bee,” Ms. Tan said. “It’s a lovely mental workout that I’ve started doing every day since the lockdown. In addition, my 5-year-old daughter enjoys playing alongside me and it helps her to learn new words too. We get to learn together. How lovely!”
Similar groups gather on social media platforms such as Facebook and Reddit to discuss the Spelling Bee. Readers of The Times’s Wordplay column, where self-described “puzzleheads” gather to chat about and get help with the daily crossword, have taken it upon themselves to devote a section in the column’s comments to a discussion about the Bee.

“It makes me feel great!” said Reagan Fromm of Brooklyn, N.Y., who says she reaches the Amazing level most of the time. “It’s a tiny win to put in my pocket before I start the day.”

Players have been known to create Slack channels at work around the Spelling Bee. Social media platforms are rife with such groups. And there is the particularly devoted one on Wordplay.
By most accounts, the puzzle community is a generous and friendly one, until a word that is believed by some to be “commonly known” is left off the list of accepted words for a given Spelling Bee puzzle.Ms. Koker is clearly not a typical player. “Within a given week, about 25 percent of players will achieve Genius at least once,” said Luke Summerlin, a manager of data and analytics at The New York Times. “But this does not take into account whether or not they reached Genius every day, just once or somewhere in between.”

That Zen attitude works well for Taffy Brodesser-Akner, the author of the novel “Fleishman Is in Trouble” and a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. She appreciates the fact that the game keeps her from feeling too competitive. “I look at the game as a way to relax,” Ms. Brodesser-Akner said. “I love reminders that you’re allowed to have fun without winning, right? And that is very good for someone like me, who has never been able to hold onto a hobby because I can’t stop myself from taking things to the next step. I love that there is no next step to this.”
Spelling Bee began its flight to word game stardom as one of three puzzles that Mr. Shortz and The Times Magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, agreed to add to the Sunday puzzle page. Mr. Shortz had seen a similar puzzle called Polygon in The Times of London, and he decided that a variant on it would help him broaden the scope of the games that the magazine offered its readers.“It has to be frustrating to discover something you know is a word — one you might even use regularly — only to see it nullified by the game,” Mr. Ezersky said. “It’s all a balance, though. There’s only one master list for everyone. And one person’s expansive vocabulary or specialized knowledge is another’s obscurity or esoterica. So the playing field must be kept level somehow, and my guiding question these days is, ‘What feels fair for our audience?’” He continued: “Initially, I built the Solver just for myself. The original version was meant only to help me find the pangram once I became hopelessly stuck. The Spelling Bee discussion on Wordplay was crucial to the development of the program. I modeled my letter frequency grids after posts I had seen there, and I also adopted some of the jargon I picked up there.” They do it well. There is a Twitter account called “Not a Spelling Bee Word” that posts words that have been left off the list (most of them are fairly esoteric) and humorously offers ones that might qualify for recognition in the game, if only they were real.

How hard is it to get genius level on spelling bee?
Those who do reach Genius — the number varies widely depending upon the difficulty of a given puzzle, but Mr. Summerlin estimated it at between 12 and 45 percent of all players — are greeted by Beeatrice donning a scholar’s mortarboard.
The game’s path to success was paved with a beehive in the Sunday magazine, solvers waking up at 3 a.m. to play and a global “hivemind” that exists to troll a New York Times editor.Of course, some players would like some help without letting others know that they need it. These people can rely on the increasing number of online solving programs that are popping up. “I also put her on the ‘Congrats!’ screen to make that moment feel more fun and congratulatory. Visually, I tried to incorporate a few letter B shapes in her design, not unlike how the FedEx logo has a ‘hidden’ arrow in it. Recently, some designers on our brand team helped redraw Beeatrice to keep her visually in-line with our other icons for our newer games.” Now 25 years old and a graduate of the University of Virginia, he works as a digital puzzles editor with Mr. Shortz on a variety of projects. This includes being the first pair of eyes to look at crossword submissions when they come in, as well as helping Mr. Shortz to edit puzzles that are accepted.By 2017, the New York Times Games team — then known as New York Times Crosswords — was looking for inspiration for a new project. The team had been given a mandate in late 2016 to create digital games that expanded beyond the Crossword, but there had been a lot of discussion and brainstorming about which type of game to tackle first. “Our group has big plans, once the pandemic subsides,” she said jokingly, “to eat lots of NAAN together, play the LOTTO and hang out with a TORO in a ROCOCO room.” The next step is ruling out the obvious no-nos. This is where the human touch is needed, and he says that it is one of the most misunderstood parts of his job.

Ah yes, that pangram. There is at least one pangram in each game. Sometimes there are more. Entering the pangram in a game scores players a bonus of seven points, in addition to the points received for the length of the word.She continued: “We also cheer each other on without giving things away. The closest we ever get to giving each other clues is very occasionally to confirm whether a pangram is a compound word if a person is stumped or to reveal that there are multiple pangrams (we love those days). Often by 7:30 a.m., I already have four texts about the Bee. The thread has branched off into plenty of other topics as well.”Mr. Shortz modified the Times of London game by changing the shape to a seven-letter beehive and renaming it Spelling Bee. He also allowed players to reuse letters, which was forbidden in the British game.“When I submit the puzzle to Will, I always include two lists: One of words I would consider ‘common,’ and one of ‘questionably common’ words,” Mr. Longo said. “Then Will and his team go over each word on the ‘questionably common’ list (TACTILITY? BLINI? BLOTTO? REVIVER?) and decide if they believe it merits inclusion on the official published list.”

Beeatrice was there to welcome players to the game. Robert Vinluan, a senior product designer who has worked on the Games team for four years, is responsible for her friendly face.
The veteran puzzlemaker Frank Longo, who has worked as chief fact checker for the New York Times Crossword for the past 14 years, creates the magazine’s Spelling Bee from a computer program that generates lists of words containing seven unique letters, using the latest official tournament Scrabble word list as the source.Mr. Ezersky is not without reference material. “I have a variety of online, up-to-date dictionaries at my disposal, including Merriam-Webster, New Oxford American and the Scrabble databases,” he said. “Another favorite resource of mine is Google’s News tab, which allows me to check if a word in question has made regular appearances in recent articles, especially in major outlets like The Times.”

Well, mostly. The game is not only highly addictive and satisfying to the many people who play it, but it can also be humorously infuriating to the devoted.“And yes, sometimes naughty words show up,” he continued. “If they’re really bad ones, I will just not use the word. But very often, there are infelicitous words that are unavoidable because their letters are so common. For example, ENEMA and DILDO happen to come up a lot. In cases like that, we usually just shrug and leave them off the official answer list.”In August, the team began production on the game. Nine months later, on May 9, 2018, Spelling Bee made its entrance into the world with its first set of letters: W A H O R T Y, with the W in the center of the hive. The pangram — a word that uses all of the letters in the puzzle at least once — was THROWAWAY.Not everyone is aware of that. The Twitterverse also likes to tweet at the Wordplay account and, in the early days of the digital game, one particularly incensed solver drove home the point that the word RAFFIA should be accepted by mailing a package of the palm fiber ribbon to the home of crossword editor Will Shortz, to Mr. Shortz’s complete bewilderment.

What is the best online dictionary for spelling bee?
Merriam-Webster Unabridged is the official dictionary of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and every word from the competition will come from this source. All national finalists receive free access to a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online.
In the silence and darkness of Deb Koker’s Bedford, Mass., bedroom, the alarm rings and her eyes pop open. At 3 a.m., this would be an annoyance to most people, but Ms. Koker reaches for her cellphone and eagerly taps an icon on the screen.Then there are players with specialized knowledge in areas like physics, sailing or botany, who are bereft when a word they know — but a majority of other players are not likely to know — is not accepted. The word LUFF — the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail, according to Merriam-Webster.com — comes up a lot among seafaring types. Physicists will gather on Twitter to loudly wonder in Mr. Ezersky’s direction as to why he does not consider PION to be a common word.

“I felt that The Times already had the ‘tough word puzzles’ audience covered with its crossword, Acrostic and cryptic,” Mr. Shortz said. “The readers we weren’t reaching yet were ones who’d like something easier and more accessible.”
“We really do want solvers to find as many words in the complete list as possible,” he said. “If there’s a lot of esoterica in the list, what’s the point? Had the computer list for the puzzle (O) A D G N R U remained unedited, a part of the solution would have included words like OGDOAD, ONGAONGA, ORAD, ORGANON and OURANG.”