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Spelling Bee 2012: Can you spell these words?


Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, listens to the pronunciation of her word "dirigible," during the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee preliminaries. (Nikki Kahn/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Cymotrichous. C-y-m-o-t-r-i-c-h-o-u-s. It’s a Greek word meaning “having wavy hair.” It’s also the word that led Sukanya Roy to Scripps National Spelling Bee fame when she correctly spelled it for the win in 2011.

This year’s competition to succeed Roy began Wednesday with 278 contestants scribbling and sounding out words like “litany” and “witticism.” Only a handful will go on to compete in Thursday’s semifinal and final rounds, both of which will are scheduled for primetime slots on ESPN.

See if you have what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with today’s spelling whiz kids. Listen to the audio clips, then choose the correct spelling of the words in the quiz below. Let us know how you did in the comments section.

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