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Harder than ever, 90th National Spelling Bee gets underway

WASHINGTON – The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee promises to be more difficult than each of the 89 bees that preceded it.

The bee was started on Tuesday morning when 291 is to read primary – and secondary-school students gathered at a convention center outside Washington to take a written test. The nerve-racking exam goes a long way toward determining who will be among the 50 or so players to advance past Wednesday in the preliminary rounds.

Last year, the bee extended to the final rounds and made it to the championship words harder in an attempt to avoid a third straight tie. But two players still ended up sharing the title. This year, the top spellers will take a written test that will be used as a tiebreaker if needed.

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