SPELLING CHAMP PROVES METTLE WITH 'PAHOEHOE'.
Dorothea Migliori, the administrator at Temple Beth Shalom, correctly spelled pahoehoe, a Hawaiian word for smooth lava, to win the adult spelling bee Sunday. She was awarded $200 from Qforma, a Santa Fe company that develops predictive modeling tools for the pharmaceutical industry.
About 25 people turned out for the annual event at the downtown library. At the end of regulation play, Migliori was tied with Virginia Gaines. Migliori won on the first word of the playoff round.
This is her second win in a row. She won last year's contest by correctly spelling ceilidh, a Gaelic word referring to a social event involving singing and storytelling.
Sven Redsun of Qforma, which organized the bee, said this year's words overall were a "little tiny bit" harder than last year. Redsun won all three of the first three adult spelling bees at the library. "It's just this accidental superpower I have," he said.
Redsun puts together the list of words. Most, he said, "are just some I have in mind that are hard to spell." He also looks through the World Book Dictionary for others.
Fourteen people won prizes. There were spell-offs for third, sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th places.
This year's most controversial word was quean, meaning a disreputable woman, and the one that got the most laughs was succotash, a dish of lima beans and corn.
At the end of the day, these were the top spellers: Tied with 33 words: Dorothea Migliori, Virginia Gaines; 30 words: Lois Hammer, Diana Thatcher; 29 words: Saul Cohen; 28 words: Kimball Worcester, Carol Lachman; 25 words: Marvin Lachman, Sandra Klessen;
23 words: Jan Duggan, Jack Huberman; 22 words: Faith-Michele James, Patricia Reifel, Jay Reisinger.
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