The News-Review and Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe will sponsor the 43rd annual Douglas County Spelling Bee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 18 at the Wildlife Safari’s Cheryl Ford Center.

A set of spelling words will appear on this page every week through March 28. The weekly word lists can also be accessed online at by entering “Spelling Bee” into the search field.

The county spelling bee champion will win a trophy and new laptop. Trophies and prizes will also be awarded through fourth place.

All public school, private school and home-schooled students in the fifth through eighth grades are invited to participate. Students wishing to enter elimination rounds in their district must sign up with their school’s spelling bee coordinator. Home-schooled students should contact the home school spelling bee coordinator at 541-679-1251.

The county spelling bee coordinator may be contacted at Questions regarding the weekly word lists may be addressed to or to The News-Review at 541-229-4328.


Blueprint — A photographic impression in white on a bright blue background and used especially for copying maps, mechanical drawings, and architects’ plans. “The architect told the builder to check the blueprint for the proper slope of the roof.”

Foil — One that serves as a contrast to another. “Given the part of a foil to the hero in a play, Ian had to resist his desire to be the star of a show.”

Wrench — A hand tool used for holding, twisting or turning (as a bolt). “The plumber seemed to have a wrench for every purpose.”

Altitude — Position at a height. “When the plane suddenly lost altitude, the pilot told the passengers to fasten their seat belts.”

Shuttle — A vehicle used for going back and forth over a specified route or path at regular intervals. “Adrian lived in Baltimore, but he took the airplane shuttle to New York and back every day because he worked in Manhattan.”

Buzzard — Any of various birds of prey, such as a turkey vulture or condor. “The buzzard is a common figure in cartoons, making its appearance when other characters are sick or dying.”

Razor — A sharp fine-edged cutting instrument for shaving hair. “Bob nicked his chin while shaving with a new razor.”

Walleye — A large vigorous freshwater food and sport fish that has large prominent eyes. “The walleye put up a good fight but nevertheless ended up as dinner for the fisherman.”

Flicker — Any of various large North American woodpeckers often more or less brightly marked with red or reddish color about the nape. “The flicker, unlike all the other North American woodpeckers, feeds on the ground.”

Grouper — A typically solitary bottom fish of warm seas which sometimes attains immense size. “The grouper was the largest and friendliest fish Todd encountered while scuba diving.”

Condor — A very large American vulture and one of the largest and most powerful of flying birds. “Of all the birds of prey at the zoo, the Andean condor is Alison’s favorite.”

Pitcher — A container for holding and pouring out liquids. “The hand-blown glass pitcher was too fragile to be used for pouring, so Aunt Beth used it as a vase instead.”

Buckboard — A four-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle without springs with the platform fastened directly to the front and rear axle, usually with a seat above it often mounted on springs. “The Wilson family used a buckboard for travel and to transport supplies from town.”

Blossoming — Flowering. “Between the blossoming branches of the canopy, bits of blue sky looked down like wonderful eyes.”

Uranium — A heavy radioactive metallic element that is used primarily in atomic energy programs. “Before uranium was discovered to be radioactive, it was used for a pigment in painting china.”

Hearth — A brick, stone, or cement area of floor in front of a fireplace. “In one corner there was a stone slab laid down for a hearth and an old rusty iron basket to contain a fire.”

Creaking — Making a prolonged grating or squeaking sound. “The booms were tearing at the blocks, the rudder was banging to and fro, and the whole ship was creaking, groaning and jumping.”

Composition — The act or process of arranging in specific proportions or relationships, especially in an aesthetically pleasing manner. “Jeremy received high marks for the composition of his paintings.”

Cannibals — Human beings that eat human flesh. “Sleeping sickness in 19th-century New Guinea was spread by cannibals.”

Solarium — A glass-enclosed porch or living room. “Lacey moved her sunlight-starved fern from her bedroom to the solarium.”

Backlight — Illuminate an object from behind for special effects. “The director will backlight the stage to simulate a sunset.”

Prism — A transparent body that is bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces and is used to refract or disperse a beam of light. “The prism cast an array of colors on the tablecloth.”

Opal — A silica mineral softer and less dense than quartz and typically with definite and often iridescent colors. “Edna wished that her birthstone were a clear gem instead of the milky opal.”

Ignite — Set afire; kindle. “Leslie used a cigarette lighter to ignite the pile of fatwood.”

Punctuation — The act or practice of inserting standardized marks or signs in written matter to clarify the meaning and separate structural units. “Phoebe always refers to her old grammar textbook when she has questions about punctuation.”

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