My bracket is way, way, way busted. The random approach was interesting and worth trying, but it didn’t work this year. Next year I’ll try the random approach and the educated guess approach and see which works better.
Yesterday I missed LENT, LETUP, LOLLOP, NULL, OUTPOLL, PENULT, and UNLET.
LUNETTE: An arched aperture or window, especially one in a domed ceiling.
POULT: A young domestic chicken, turkey, pheasant, or other fowl being raised for food. I guess ones that have given up, though. Otherwise they’d be poultry.
PULE: Cry querulously or weakly.
TOLUENE: A colorless liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum and used as a solvent and in organic synthesis.
TUPELO: A North American or Asian tree of damp and swampy habitats, which yields useful timber.
Final score: 39 words for 187 points.
Genius minimum: 183 points.
First word: MANIAC.