Almost a checkmate

     I was excited for today’s show, because a Jeopardy! message boardie was appearing!  And it was no disappointment.  Here are today’s contestants:

Sandra McClellan
Keri McConaghy

Jonathan Corbblah


     Jonathan was out of the gates very quickly.  When he found the Daily Double in the Jeopardy round before the first break, Mr. Trebek said he “came to play.”  He had 3800, Sandra had 1000, Keri had 200, and I had 1200.  Jonathan wagered 2200 on this clue in Education: “It was originally called the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 and provided free education for vets.”*  Jonathan looked like he was just waiting for Mr. Trebek to get done reading the clue to bust out the right answer.  At the first break, he had an already-impressive 6800, while Sandra had 2000, Keri still had 200, and I had 3200.
     I had to pump my fist on this triple-stumper in 1901-1910.  All three contestants even rang in and guessed wrong!: “On January 1, 1902, the firt postseason college football game was played in this city; Michigan beat Stanford 49-0.”*  I needed that correct response, as you can see by the scores!
     At the end of Double Jeopardy, Sandra had 3200, Jonathan had 8200, Keri had 2200, and I had 5600.  And Jonathan was far from done – He found the first Daily Double in the Double Jeopardy round, too, at the end of the first category chosen (State Capital Attractions).  He had 11000, Sandra had 4400, Keri still had 2200, and I had 9600.  (I was sweeping the category.)  Jonathan wagered 7000 on this clue: “Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks and Green Mount Cemetery.”*  Jonathan and I both got it right.  But I got this triple-stumper in Astronomers, where Jonathan had answered incorrectly: “His ‘belt’ about 4.65 billion miles from the sun may contain more than 70,000 objects.”* 
     When Sandra found the second Daily Double of the round, it was still rather early; the clues were less-than-half gone.  (Incidentally, Sandra only sighed once today.  That’s an improvement over Friday, but she had reason to do it more often today!)  Sandra had 7200 when she found the Daily Double.  Jonathan had 18800, Keri had 2200 (still?!), and I had 15200.  Sandra wagered 5000 on this clue: “In 1609, using a weak 9-power telescope, he discovered that Venus has phases just like our moon.”*  She got it right. 
     Jonathan then benefitted from a clue about chess, since he was introduced as a chess teacher.  The category was Go, as in the game, and this was the clue: “In Go, 2 players take turns placing stones of 2 different colors on a board; unlike in chess, this color goes first.”*  I got this triple-stumper in the same category.  I rang in thinking I knew the answer, then thought it was wrong, then decided to go with it at the last second: “A stone that is threatened with capture is said to be ‘in’ this; the makers of Pong chose it for their company name.”*
     Was it just me or did Jonathan seem to slow…way…down when selecting clues from the final category?  It felt like he was trying to keep his lock on the game.  It didn’t quite work out that way, but it was close.  The gap closed a little because Sandra got this final clue correct in They Call Me Mr…: “In a 1960s cartoon series, Jim Backus voiced this bald, irritable, and dangerously myopic man.”*  Jonathan ended the round with 20000, Sandra had 13400, Keri had 7800, and I had 28000.  The Final Jeopardy category was Countries.  This was the clue: “In only 2 cases can you add 2 letters to one country and get another country: Austria/Australia and this pair.”*  This was a toughie that I tried but could not solve in time.  The contestants all got it wrong, too.  Jonathan said, “Duh!” when Mr. Trebek revealed the correct response.  Keri lost 7200, Sandra lost 6601, and Jonathan lost 7000, still leaving him with enough to win, luckily, as he deserved it!  I can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow.
     I wanted to share something else with you: Tonight I was at Goodwill and I found TWO books that were related to recent Jeopardy! clues.  This one was from today, in fact, in Education: “In 1955 Rudolph Flesch wrote “Why Johnny Can’t” do this, attacking current teaching practices.”*  I didn’t pick that one up, but I did buy the one that this clue is about, because Oprah made it sound so appealing!  The category was Oprah’s Favorite Books: “When I got up to 800 pages in this author’s The Pillars of the Earth, I had to slow myself down because I didn’t want it to end.”*  I didn’t know the book had been chosen for her book club, but the seal was right there on the cover.  Have you guys read it?
     Til tomorrow….
*the G.I. Bill, Pasadena, Montpelier, Kuiper, Galileo, black, Atari, Mr. Magoo, Niger/Nigeria, read, Ken Follett