First, please vote in my poll below after reading this for a little background.
Here are the scores for Monday:
(blogger!) Pamela Nelson (crossword constructor!) John Cunningham Alison Stone Roberg Me
20000 8800 30001 30800
I think I was helped by the fact that I wagered everything on an early Daily Double, a tip I picked up from a successful past Jeopardy! contestant on the Jeopardy! message boards when I asked how I could improve my wagering strategy. (By the way, here’s Pamela’s account of her Jeopardy! experience, including an explanation of her Final Jeopardy wager.)
At the beginning of today’s show, Mr. Trebek basically said that this is the final week of the season :-(, and that next week they’re going to show “some of the highlights, some of the great tournaments we’ve had this past year.” I hope they show some of this year’s Tournament of Champions, even though it was only a couple of months ago. I just thought it was thrilling, with such great contestants!
Alison Stone Roberg was going for a fourth win today, having won an impressive 85000+ in her three wins. Nora Corrigan, a confident and steady player today, found the Daily Double in the Jeopardy round in Ferrous, Bueller, which happened to also be the last clue of the round (a good time for it). She had 4000, Vince Femenella had 6400, and Alison had 5800. This was the clue: “An older theory said that when metallic iron loses its phlogiston, it becomes this remnant we know as an oxide.”* She got it immediately, and moved into second place with her wager of 2000. Alison, then, was in the odd-seeming position of going into Double Jeopardy in third place.
After four clues in Here’s 2 “U” in the Double Jeopardy round, Nora moved to Famous Last Words. Vince got this clue right, there: “A woman facing the guillotine, 1793: ‘Farewell, my children, I go to rejoin your father.'”* Vince immediately returned to Here’s 2 “U,” and found the Daily Double Nora would’ve had if she had finished the category. Vince had 7200, Alison had 6600, and Nora had 7600. He wagered 4000 on this clue: “The name of this branch of math comes from the Latin for ‘small stone.'”* He and I both got it wrong. It was maddening for me because the correct response came into my head immediately, and I even started to answer out loud, “What is…” and then stopped suddenly because I decided it was wrong. I lost 3000 on it, a costly mistake.
The game went from bad to worse for Vince when he landed in the hole on this clue in the misnamed I Love a Mystery: “Inspector Kurt Wallander solves mysteries in this country, homeland of his creator Henning Mankell.”* This clue stumped everybody, including me.
Did you guys know these triple-stumpers in the Double Jeopardy round? In World War II: “To help the war effort, this composer wrote ‘Any Bonds Today?’ for the Treasury Department.”* And in Mr. Robinson: “Before the frost/until I freeze” was a 2009 Double album from this band fronted by Chris Robinson.”*
At the end of the round, Alison had 13000, Vince had rebounded with 6000, Nora had 14200. (I had 8400.) The final category was Monarchies. I wagered nothing, partly because I haven’t done well in this category in the past, and partly because of my position: I assumed Nora would wager enough to beat Alison if Alison doubled and got 26000. I could not reach that amount, so I hoped Nora would get it wrong and wind up with 1200, and then I would have more money than she would. As it happened, I answered Final Jeopardy correctly. Here is the clue: “1 of the 2 largely German-speaking monarchies in the world; they’re about 250 miles apart.”* Vince got it right but wagered nothing. Alison got it wrong and wagered only 999, which would have put her a dollar ahead of Vince if he had doubled. (I wonder if she thought the category was a weak one for her, too?) Nora got it right, and wagered a whopping 13001, a wager I can’t really explain: She only (only?) needed to wager 11801 to win if Alison had doubled her score. Anyway, we have a new champion, and I think she may be a strong one in the coming days. Come back to find out! Better yet, watch the show and come back!
*rust, Marie Antoinette, calculus, Sweden, Irving Berlin, the Black Crowes, Liechtenstein or Luxembourg