Top 10 Hardest and Easiest Spelling Bee Words, Aug. 19-25

by Ahleper Tech
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Here are the meanings of the least-found words that were used in (mostly) recent Times articles.

1. hamartia — a protagonist’s tragic error:

Thompson told me that Shakespeare shows you what happens at the moment you become your own worst enemy, a vertiginous moment Aristotle called “hamartia,” or missing the mark (an archery expression). It is, he said, “a dangerous place to be.” Going After That Pound of Flesh (April 2, 2022)

2. arhat — one who has attained nirvana:

Another arhat also sits with mouth agape, a three-eyed demon by his side; the arhat Nagasena is half-naked, his robe bowing off his gaunt and starved frame. — The Lessons of Nothingness From Maverick Zen Monks (June 22, 2022)

3. beltline — the area around one’s waist:

Haney, the World Boxing Council lightweight champion, thumped Sims’s midsection. One of Sims’s counter punches landed on Haney’s beltline. He’s a Star for the Digital Age. Some Think His Belt Is Paper. (June 3, 2022)

4. betel — a plant from Southeast Asia whose leaves are used for chewing and cooking:

Sweet, charred chunks of grilled pork and tender sausage patties wrapped in betel leaves are sunk in a bowl of hot liquid that appears to be soup. Restaurant Review: Saigon Social Looks Back at Vietnam (July 5, 2022)

5. catarrh — inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the nose or throat, causing an increased flow of mucus:

From an early age she suffered bouts of catarrh, a sinus-related problem, that sometimes left her weak and bedridden, and she often complained of a pounding in her ears. — Voltairine de Cleyre, America’s ‘Greatest Woman Anarchist’ (Sept. 26, 2018)

6. demimonde — a fringe group in society (“half-world” in French):

“I felt invisible to the world at large and also invisible to the [queer] demimonde,” Imogen Binnie writes in her 2022 afterword, “so it was kind of a shout that I, and therefore we, exist.” The 25 Most Influential Works of Postwar Queer Literature (June 22, 2023)

7. linocut — a relief made out of linoleum, analogous to a woodcut:

He also asked for her permission to archive images of several of her linocuts in the Lunar Codex, and she agreed. “This project is so life-affirming with thoughts about the future,” she wrote in an email. “This is exactly what I needed in those first months.” — The Lunar Codex, a Time Capsule of Human Creativity, Stored in the Sky (July 27, 2023)

8. bingeing — consuming without restraint:

Ms. Habboo, 49, quickly realized she had options. She might revisit classics like “30 Rock” and “Arrested Development” with her 17-year-old son. She could join him in watching a show he’s bingeing, like all 62 episodes of “Breaking Bad.” As Hollywood Strikes Roll On, Viewers Have a Chance to Catch Up (Aug. 12, 2023)

9. beignet — a fried pastry served with powdered sugar:

And if I’m also picking up coffee for my boyfriend in Saigon-Houston Plaza, I’ll pass through My Baguettes, next to a chiropractor and just a stone’s throw from a beignet shop. A Dish That’s a Dream to Wake Up To (April 5, 2023)

10. tamari — soy sauce with no or little wheat:

Now, it’s nothing to do with Boursin or tamari (and I’m late to it to boot), but if you haven’t read Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” you ought to and soon, before it comes to Netflix as a limited series this fall. Mentaiko Spaghetti Is Creamy, Briny, Rich and Spicy (June 23, 2023)

The list of the week’s easiest words:

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