Your Spelling Bee Questions, Answered

Sam Ezersky has been the editor of the digital Spelling Bee since its launch in 2018. In today’s newsletter, he answers questions, including from readers.

Could you describe your Bee creation process? — Mary Stella, Florida Keys, Fla.

I always start with the pangram (a word that contains all the letters in the puzzle) because that is the linchpin.

There are a lot of esoteric words I wouldn’t want to base a puzzle around — like “ultravacua,” “clyping,” “choragi” — which is why the Spelling Bee needs a human touch. I want to offer fun pangrams, some variety throughout the week, some puzzles that are easier than others. I like to save the hardest or longest puzzles for the weekend, but that doesn’t mean every Saturday or Sunday is going to be crazy hard. I like keeping you all on your toes.

How do you gauge a puzzle’s difficulty?

One metric is how long the answer list is. If the puzzle contains many frequently used letters — E, L, T — it might yield at least…

Continue Reading →

This article was written by Ashley Wu and originally published on