Restless days and sleepless nights: Spelling bee takes toll

WASHINGTON — There's little downtime for the dozen or so spellers who make it to the primetime finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Once they get through the morning finals, which can last 4 hours or more, the remaining spellers are swarmed by relatives, reporters — and Scripps representatives who hand them a color-coded schedule that maps out nearly every minute between their two sessions on stage.

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