Education: Spellbound

For four feminist years, sharp-tongued girls have speared the prize at the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. It looked that way again last week at the 32nd annual spellbinder in the ballroom of Washington's Mayflower Hotel. The girls marched past progressively tougher words, from heroine, blossom and dentifrice to operose, miscible and quadrumanous. By the end of the first day, there were six girl contestants to five boys.

Ratiocination. On the second day, the tide turned. As newsmen sneakily cribbed from one another at tables covered with green (baze? baize? beise?) cloth, the girls...

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