Though they aren't magicians, the winning team employed legerdemain to win the spelling bee.

Though they aren't magicians, the winning team employed legerdemain to win the spelling bee.

Actually, the team from Congregation Beth Tikvah spelled "legerdemain," meaning sleight of hand, to win first place in the Worthington Community Adult Spelling Bee on March 16.

They coupled that correct spelling with one of "propinquity" to defeat the second-place team from Partners for Citizenship and Character (PCC) in the final round of the competition.

The 18th annual bee, sponsored by Leadership Worthington, was held on the stage at Worthington Kilbourne High School.

Twenty-three three-member teams competed for bragging rights and for prizes that were donated by community businesses. The bee is a fundraiser for Leadership Worthington.

Abby Goldbaum, Lisa Kalson and Barbara House made up the Beth Tikvah team.

"We're thrilled," Goldbaum said. "Last year we ended in sixth place."

The trio did not practice over the past year. Luck plays a big part in the bee, they said. Members always hope they do not have to spell some of the more difficult words.

"Some of the words are insane," House said.

Taking turns, each team on the stage was given a word to spell. Pronouncer Chuck Gibson, director of Worthington Libraries, pronounced the words, gave definitions and used them in sentences.

Each team was permitted one "pass."

The first round was easy, with everyday words given to allow teams to get comfortable.

Comfort ended on the second round, with words becoming more difficult and the first team going down.

Worthington AM Rotary was the first team out, incorrectly misspelling "grok."

Rotary spellers Joe Hull, Karla Macrae and Mike Foley received dictionaries for their efforts.

The words became even more difficult as the night wore on. Words that stumped teams included "obliviscence, querulous, scaphoid, enthymeme and foliiform."

By the fifth round, only 10 teams remained on stage. All but three went down in that round. They misspelled "lugubrious, exegete, extirpate" and a few others.

In round 6, the team from BigGreenHead.com misspelled "foudroyant," leaving the two finalists to spell it out for the championship.

Holly Richard, Steve Richard and Mindy Marfurt made up the second-place PCC team and correctly spelled "joy, oxymoron, anthropomorphism and pastiche" to reach the finals.

First-place prizes were $50 gift cards to Ruth's Chris Steak House. Second-place winners received $50 bank cards/savings cards from Fifth Third, Park National or Huntington banks.

Community businesses donated prizes for up through ninth place and many raffle prizes for the spellers and the audience.

Radio personality Amy Donovan served as master of ceremonies. Judges were Marc Schare, president of the Worthington Board of Education; Tony Lordo, DDS, a local dentist; and Lt. Jerry Strait of the Worthington Police Department.