Every single morning, from 9am SA time, and between emails and Zoom calls, I do the New York Times Spelling Bee (https://www.nytimes.com/puzzles/spelling-bee). It’s a classic puzzle that requires you to make words out of the seven letters presented for the day. Nail all the letters at once, and you unearth the holy grail of word nerds: the pangram. It’s fulfilling stuff. Sometimes you see words quickly, sometimes you’re stumped and vexed all day. 

Once I’ve taken a stab and cracked it, I feel the need to gloat. So I touch base with my book club – who are scattered across the globe; in Melbourne, in Cape Town, in the UK town of Nottingham. We all do the Spelling Bee and talk about it every day. Jen, a doctor friend in Australia, is the genius of the tribe, she always shoots the wordage lights out. Me, less so. In all, there are a lot of these sorts of Whatsapp exchanges: “how can they say that “meze” isn’t a word? I’m mailing the NYT now!”  ..

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