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    Put a Spell on You

    by Nicole Fruge posted June 1, 2012
    With confetti falling, Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, is embraced by her brother, Sujan Nandipati, 10, after she won the National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday, with the word "guetapens." —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    With confetti falling, Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, is embraced by her brother, Sujan Nandipati, 10, after she won the National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday, with the word "guetapens." —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Sivateja Tangirala, of Sugar Land, Texas, concentrates as he spells the word "pleurodynia" during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Sivateja Tangirala, of Sugar Land, Texas, concentrates as he spells the word "pleurodynia" during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, speaks during a news conference on Thursday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, speaks during a news conference on Thursday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, center, celebrates as it's announced that she is one of the nine finalists at the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, center, celebrates as it's announced that she is one of the nine finalists at the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Spellers leave the stage during a break in competition at the National Spelling Bee. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Spellers leave the stage during a break in competition at the National Spelling Bee. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Kayla Sheffield, 13, of Fort Myers, Fla., waits to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Kayla Sheffield, 13, of Fort Myers, Fla., waits to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Coralee Ashley Tibeingana Ahabwe Wade LaRue, of Vinyard Haven, Mass., spells her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Coralee Ashley Tibeingana Ahabwe Wade LaRue, of Vinyard Haven, Mass., spells her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. —Evan Vucci/AP

    Naomi Li, 14, of Center Valley, Pa., thinks hard about how to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.  —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Naomi Li, 14, of Center Valley, Pa., thinks hard about how to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Nicholas Rushlow, 14, of Pickerington, Ohio, reacts after spelling a word correctly during the sixth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee, making the five-time bee attendee one of Thursday night's nine finalists. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    Nicholas Rushlow, 14, of Pickerington, Ohio, reacts after spelling a word correctly during the sixth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee, making the five-time bee attendee one of Thursday night's nine finalists. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    As other spellers react, Abigail Spitzer, 13, of El Paso, Texas, holds her sign over her face after correctly spelling a word during the fourth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    As other spellers react, Abigail Spitzer, 13, of El Paso, Texas, holds her sign over her face after correctly spelling a word during the fourth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    With a pop of confetti, 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati won the 85th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday near Washington. Nearly 300 young students ages 6-14 converged on the nation’s capital over the past week, including three of last year’s finalists and the youngest-ever speller in the competition, six-year-old Lori Anne Madison. Ms. Nandipati emerged triumphant over all of them after correctly spelling “guetapens,” a word of French origin meaning “an ambush, snare, or trap.” Nandipati gave a quick smile after finishing, although none of the judges remembered to tell her she was correct, so that job fell to the person in charge of releasing the confetti.

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