It’s a pleasure doing pleasure with Jeopardy!

     Today was the last day of the 2010 College Tournament quarterfinals. You may recall that I love Fridays of the first week of Jeopardy! tournaments, because of the excitement when the semifinalists are revealed.  I was not let down today!  The contestants were:    

                                Lindsay Eanet                                   
       Leah Anthony Libresco
    Prashat Raghavendran
     The game was off to a rough start with the somewhat easy-sounding Fill in the Song Title.  Prashant missed the second and third clues, and Leah missed this triple-stumper: “Tim McGraw: ‘It’s a Business Doing ________ ____ ___.'”*  I didn’t know the song but I’ve heard that phrase before.  The last clue of the category was a triple-stumper, too, and I didn’t know it: “Whitney Houston: ‘_______ Dollar Bill.'”*  So at the end of that first category, both Leah and Prashat were in the hole -800 and -1000 respectively.  Prashat was still in the hole with -200 when he found the Daily Double in the round in World Holidays.  He wagered 800 on this clue, and missed it: “This country has a Coptic Christmas, an Islamic New Year, and a Sinai Liberation Day.”*
     I swept New Testament Places.  Did you guys know this triple-stumper?: “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is believed to be built over this hill, site of the Crucifixion.”*
     At the end of the Jeopardy round, Lindsay had 3400, Leah had 4000, and Prashat was still in third place with 1400.
     Did you guys know this triple-stumper in The Prisoner?: “This Dublin-born man was released from prison bankrupt in 1897; ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ was released in 1898.”*
     Prashat bounced back to some extent in the Double Jeopardy round, including getting this Daily Double correct in Name the Century: “The Normans conquer England.”*  He was still in third place at the end, though, with 9400.  Lindsay had 14600, and Leah had 12000.
     The Final Jeopardy category was Recent Books.  This was the clue: “In a lecture called ‘Storia Senza Storia’ (story without history), an Italian cardinal rebutted claims in this 2003 novel.”*  I knew this one instantly.  Lindsay and Leah knew it, too, while Prashat lost 4000 when he guessed the right author but the wrong novel.  Lindsay wagered 7500 and Leah wagered 9000, making Lindsay a semifinalist.  I ended with 24002.  However, Leah’s score was good enough to make her a wild-card semifinalist, and boy, was she ever exuberant.
     Here are my other scores since I blogged last:
Rebecca Maxfield     James Hill III     Robbie Berg     Me
     11974                     25198                   3             30600
Nick Yozamp     Surya Sabhapathy     Dan D’Addario     Me
       20000                  17000                  13584            32802

     Now for an update on the Summer Hiatus Challenge!  The final clues for week 3 were posted today, so go check it out and play along.  There are still have three weeks of fun remaining with questions such as these, written by DadofTwins:
2: A lawn mower can create this five-letter lawn-enriching substance by keeping the clippings underneath the deck for repeated chopping.
4: No bull; in 2007 this Minnesota-based lawn equipment company sold off its residential equipment division to focus on commercial sales.
6: In 1963, John Reiger patented this riding mower feature when he invented a way to make the wheels rotate at different speeds.
8: In 1990, this lawn care brand became the first to purchase title
sponsorship rights to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana.
10: This insect similar to a cricket gave its name to a Kansas-based lawn mower company known for using diesel engines in their machines.
3: This second-longest river in Russia shares its name with a mountain range dividing Europe and Asia.
6: This river flows through more national capitals – four – than any other river in the world.
9: This river, the longest on the Iberian Penninsula, forms part of the border between Spain and Portugal.
12: The central part of this longest French river’s valley was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
15: These two rivers, whose names both start with the letters “Dn,” are among the longest that drain into the Black Sea.
     AND you can see how you measure up against these former Jeopardy! champs who are playing along.  Through week 2, here are the point totals:
mrbungle (Ryan Chaffee) 629
ptucker (Patrick Tucker) 579
emurphy (Liz Murphy) 567
Asphodel (Alison Stone Roberg) 459
aggiebud (Buddy Wright) 457
thejeopardyfan (me, and I’m a future champ) 375
     Buddy and his wife, by the way, are the proud new parents of Jordan Marie, born on August 18th. She joins their son Jack. Congratulation, Buddy!
     You know, if you do decide to play along, let me know and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Chuck Forrest’s Secrets of the Jeopardy! Champions.
     Also, don’t forget I am organizing a birthday party in Blogger’s honor.  My party’s going to be in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Sign up here.  And if you blog on Blogger and you live elsewhere, look at the map below to find a birthday party near you.
*Pleasure With You, Million, Egypt, Golgotha, Oscar Wilde, The DaVinci Code
SHC answers: mulch, Toro, zero-turn radius, Poulan/Weed Eater, Grasshopper, Ural, Danube, Tagus, Loire, Dniepr & Dniester