The week kicked off today with these three contestants:
Roger was in his usual form today. When he found the Daily Double in the Jeopardy round, he had 4000, Mary had 3400, Marisa had 600, and I had 6400. The category was Good Causes. This was the clue: “A ‘mission’ to help the homeless is named for this lower Manhattan street known as a skid row since the 1800s.”* Roger took a long time to answer, and he looked as surprised that he got it right as I was that I got it right. I don’t know how that word came into my head. I don’t even really know what that is. Roger added 2000 to his score. At the end of the round, he had 10000, Mary had 4400, and Marisa had 1200.
Mary found the first Daily Double in the Double Jeopardy round. I was really, really hoping she would wager everything: She had 7200 at the time, while Roger had 15200. She needed to wager everything, and it could well have made a difference in the outcome of the game. At any rate, she wagered 4000 on this clue in Eponyms: “Meaning elegant or fancy, it’s from the name of a hotel chain founded by a Swiss businessman.”* She knew it immediately.
Roger found the second Daily Double, in “A” Science Category. (Incidentally, a friend of mine who lives in Newark, Delaware tells me that Roger’s undergraduate degree is in chemistry! My friend also tells me Roger tried out for Jeopardy! more than once before making it on the show.) Roger had 20000, and Mary, his nearest opponent, had 14400. Roger immediately wagered 12000, as if he had some kind of formula for coming up with that wager. I don’t know how he thought of it, and it stumped Mr. Trebek, too. This was the clue: “These are just small masses of lymphoid tissue in the nasopharynx.”* Roger knew it right away.
Did you notice that Roger seemed to slow the pace way down when there weren’t many clues remaining, almost like he didn’t want to give his opponents a chance to be within reach? I’ve also wondered if he goes to the clues with higher values first, so that he can build a big lead and then leave his opponents little chance of catching him? Although there were clues remaining today (two), the tactics didn’t work. Mary barely had enough to catch Roger. He had 35200, and she had 18000. Marisa had 6400. I had 25600. The Final Jeopardy category was The Western Hemisphere. This was the clue: “Made up of one large and many smaller islands, it’s the most populous of Britain’s remaining overseas territories.”* This one was tough. All three contestants missed it, and so did I. I’m glad I’m not the only one for whom geography is not a strong subject! As could be predicted, Mary bet it all (making up for not betting it all on her Daily Double), and Roger wagered 801, which would’ve given him the win as long as he got a correct response. So Roger is the champion again. Another successful Roger (Federer) has a fan who holds a sign saying, “SHHH! GENIUS AT WORK!” at his matches. Much more of this, and someone in the Jeopardy audience will be holding that sign for Roger Craig! I know this: I want to talk to this guy bad about his preparation and his secrets to his success.
Speaking of getting secrets to Jeopardy! success, I’m going to be interviewing Ryan Chaffee, 2010 Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist. Do you have anything you want me to ask him? This is a golden opportunity for you Jeopardy! hopefuls!
Also, gillianwallis is the winner of the book Secrets of the Jeopardy! Champions by Chuck Forrest. If you didn’t win, don’t worry. A new contest is in the works. I will be giving away a copy of the book The Cultural Literacy Trivia Guide by Steven J. Ferrill. Mr. Ferrill comments on this blog from time to time. He is in the process of updating this book, and generously gave me a copy to give to you! The contest will begin next week, on Monday. Check back here for details before you watch Monday’s Jeopardy!
*Bowery, ritzy, adenoids, Bermuda