Words I've Regrettably Missed During Various Spelling Bees, With Explanations

Balloon (threw me as a second grader because I'd only seen a double double-letter combo once before and thought coffee was a fluke)
Reprisal (replaced the "s" with a "z" after requesting a definition and hearing that the word had something to do with a monetary reward, which it doesn't)
Cosmetic (pronounced "cause-matic" by speech-impedimented English teacher conducting the bee)
Codicil (what the crap?)

I wish I could make a list of words I've spelled successfully to win or advance to the final rounds of spelling bees, but you never remember *those* suckers, now do you?

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