“Let’s Jeop It Up”

     Do you remember the end of both Ace Ventura movies, how Ace inhales very, very deeply so that he can explain the solution to the case all in one breath?  I feel like I need to do that for this entry!
     I watched today’s show with my dad and mom.  The title of this entry refers to my dad’s response when I asked him if he was ready to “Jeop it up.”  I know, lame, both of us!
     My dad likes to give his reaction to each category as it is being read at the beginning of each round.  Sometimes he just gives a thumbs-down or a shrug to each category, and sometimes he grunts his displeasure, but he is almost never satisfied.  Today’s Jeopardy round was no exception.  With the revelation of each category, my dad’s vocalizations, for lack of a better word, got lower and lower.
     I’m happy to say I swept “S”Wonderful tonight, but my dad was quick to point out during the Food Glorious Food category that I did not sweep that one.  In fact, I tanked!  As we were talking about it, I heard my mom quietly answer this triple-stumper (that’s her style!): “Made of coconut or almond paste, these drop cookies are especially popular at Passover.”*
     My dad seemed rather impressed when 2-day champ J.R. Lind answered this one in You’re a Grand Old Flag: “This South Pacific island nation’s flag was based on an idea from King George Tupou I.”* “How did he know that?” my dad said.  Mr. Trebek, incidentally, clarified tonight that Lind reports on business and real estate.  I had assumed in a previous entry that he wrote about politics, based on a little Internet search I had done.
     At the end of the Jeopardy round, Lind had 3600, Peter Hall had 5000, and Jessica Freeman had 3400.  Pretty evenly matched, right?  Not by the time Double Jeopardy was over.  Peter found both Daily Doubles in the round, one right after the other, and wagered 6000 each time, and got them both right.  Quite an endorsement for making big wagers.  The first Daily Double, in Art Heists: “In 1976, she sued for the return of 3 paintings, claiming they’d been stolen from Alfred Stieglitz’ gallery in 1946.”*  The second one, in Woody Allen Movie Synopses: “Abused wife seeks refuge in movie theater, falls for the fictional leading man.”*
     Did you notice that Peter would look like he was clapping a cupped hand over the hand with the ringer in it?  It reminded me of the auditions for the show:  The Jeopardy! staff admonishes potential contestants not to use two hands when ringing in.  I assume this is illegal on the actual show, but I have never seen it addressed on TV.  Does anyone know?  Any former contestants, maybe?
     Speaking of Jeopardy! auditions, last time I took the online test and passed, I found out in June that year.  If anyone finds out they passed this year’s online test, would you please comment here?  I’m hoping to avoid anxiety about it for the rest of the year if I know that other people have found out they passed.  (I don’t know that it will work!)
     At the end of the Double Jeopardy round, Peter led with a whopping 31800, J.R. had 11200, and Jessica had 10200.  The Final Jeopardy category was U.S. Military History, and this was the clue: “This general commanded the first official American force to fight on the European continent.”*  All three contestants got it right!  Peter wagered 5000, but it was obviously a moot point to the other contestants.  J.R. wagered 9201, and Jessica wagered 10001.
     I lucked out that there was a clue about Canada on the show today, as it provides a perfect means to introduce the man who will be guest-blogging here for two weeks.  This is the clue in Lake Poet-ry: “Do not go gentle into this ‘ursine’ Canadian lake/rage rage against the cold; it can be just too much to take.”*  (And I got this one right!)  Brian McAsey, author of the Thin Skin of Culture blog and a Canadian himself (hey, like Mr. Trebek!), will make his debut here on Monday, June 13th.  His own blog, in his words, is “dedicated to [his] quixotic attempt to read an arbitrary book list appropriated from a book entitled 501 Must Read Books.” He has tried out for Jeopardy! twice. He said on his blog he is “ecstatic” to be guest-blogging here, and I am equally so.  Break a leg, Brian!

*macaroons, Tonga, Georgia O’Keeffe, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Pershing, Great Bear Lake