It is my honor to make today's puzzle with Rose, who as you might know placed fourth in the 2008 National Spelling Bee. This one is a tribute to this year's winner. When I learned of the happy coincidence of this puzzle's theme entries I couldn't help but drop into Rose's dms. Rose also put up a fun midi yesterday; make sure you check that out too.
Rose says, "Very excited to get to work on this puzzle, which is themed around something I very dearly love. It was also very fun for me to get to include the Merriam-Webster diacritical system in the puzzle. Enjoy!" (ed. note: I can confirm Rose did pull out an actual paper dictionary when making this one)
Thanks, as always, to Will for testing.