'The Austin Chronicle' Adult Spelling Bee
May 20, Threadgill's World Headquarters
The heat was on, as in summer heat, at the eighth annual Austin Chronicle Adult Spelling Bee which boasted a total of 200 entries. The first-round written test weeded out all but the top 61 spellers, while the second-round test whittled it down to 25. It was no surprise that reigning champ Geoff Thevenot made his way to the finals yet again. The first round of the finals was exciting: "Anthracnose" caused a bit of controversy, and official pronouncer Erika Allbright from the Austin Public Library implemented a new rule – spellers must say the word before and after spelling. One of the spellers suffered from "logorrhea" (excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness); hey, he just needed a beer. And 14 contestants just couldn't get their spell on. The fifth round saw three regular Austin Chronicle Spelling Bee faces. Thevenot misspelled the first word, leaving him with a third-place pat on the back and parting gift. The last two standing were Marian Morris and Dave Riddle, who both spelled their fifth-round words correctly. But it was Riddle who took home the trophy after the sixth round, correctly spelling Marian's missed word (myrmecophilous) and the final word (faubourg). Though Riddle's first-place prize may not be a free trip to a "faubourg" (a suburb of a French city), he will enjoy a free beer a day at Threadgill's World Headquarters for a year.