WORDPLAY

Kansan Wins Spelling Bee

It took 15 rounds and three days for champion speller to Kavya Shivashankar to knock out her 292 competitors at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but in the end the Kansas teenager emerged victorious. Her winning word: "laodicean," meaning "indifferent or lukewarm especially in matters of religion." Other words Shivashankar spelled en route to winning $40,000 in cash and prizes included "phoresy," "hydrargyrum," and "huisache." The event was nationally televised on ABC and the live audience included such big names as Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden.