Day one of the national spelling bee is in the books. The annual literacy tradition began today with 245 spellers.

Seven Missouri word wizards competed in Tuesday’s preliminary round:

•Aanya Shetty of Columbia
•Garrett Fry of Lee’s Summit
•Kunal Patel of Branson
•Eloise Wattenbarger of Hamilton
•Sonia Kulkarni of St. Louis
•Mariah Coffey of Harrisonville
•Scott Tingle of Hornersville

The complexity of words tackled by Missouri’s students today included subereous, pannose, copernicium, muliebrity, goondie, liaise, and mithraeum.

Shetty, Fry, Patel, and Kulkarni will advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals round. They are among the 148 brainiacs left competing.

Any words in the Merriam Webster Unabridged Dictionary are on the table. That is up to a half-million words.

The 96th annual bee will shrink to one winner on Thursday night.

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