Batting one thousand $1000 wagers

     Okay.  I hate to be so blunt, and it’s not like I don’t care, but I have to rip through this today – I need to be two hours from my current location in less than four hours so I can watch the Holiday Bowl with my folks.  I might add that the weather outside is frightful, and I’ll probably have to stop for gas, and I’d like to stop for dinner.  If anybody cares.  (Go Big Red!)
     First, here are some scores of mine from random games the past week or two:
Dennis Loo 13400     Ester Murdukhayeva 9599     Tom Nissley 26801     Me 7598
Samantha Barry 20401     Corey York 1     Tom Nissley 24401     Me 16400
Anthony Curtis 10799     Alice Jackson 4999     Marissa Goldsmith 10800     Me 20600
Ellen Kimmel 25600     Raghuveer Mukkamalla 5999     Marissa Goldsmith 13700     Me 8602
     Today’s contestants:

Ellen Kimmel (She’s a nurse!)

Whitney Manzo (She played a Jeopardy! video game with fellow freshmen and only lost once!)

Matt Creamer (I don’t really have anything to say about him!)

     Here are the triple-stumpers that I answered.  How did you guys do on these?: In I read it on a bumper sticker: “‘Does the name’ of this physiologist ‘ring a bell?'”*  In Ballpark Franks: “In 2007, this DH nicknamed ‘The Big Hurt’ hit his 500th career home run.”*  I was surprised that no one got this one.  The “Frank” in question was the first one that came to mind as soon as I heard the category!  What about this one in County Culture: “For 37 years, Ole Miss has held an annual conference on this writer and Yoknapatawpha.”*
     By the first break, Ellen and Matt were tied with 1200, while Whitney had 3000 and I had 5400.  Whitney found the Daily Double in the category as the last clue of the round, in Birdology.  She had 5200, while Ellen had 4800, Matt had 600, and I had 10000.  Whitney wagered 1000, a wager that would appear two more times in the episode!  Kind of a lame wager in my opinion when it’s randomly thrown out like that, but what are you going to do about it (besides moan and groan).  Here was the clue, read by Kelly of the Clue Crew: “When fishing, a heron spears the water to grab its prey, while this bird sweeps for food using its uniquely shaped beak.”*

     Whitney missed it.  I added a word to the response that Mr. Trebek said was correct, so I was torn and I don’t know if I’m right or not.  Judges?
     Whitney found the next Daily Double, too, in County Culture.  She had 5400, Ellen had 10800, Matt had 6200, and I had 18000.  Whitney wagered 2000 on this clue: “The Oscar-winning documentary ‘Harlan County USA’ depicts a strike by these workers in Kentucky.”*  She got it wrong.
     The last category chosen was A “Bach” of Clues.  Ellen, who clearly hated the categories and selected as slowly as another contestant earlier this month, started at the top of the category, and when Matt got that first clue right, he skipped to the bottom, where the Daily Double was found.  By then, he somehow was looking listless and disinterested.  He had 6600, while Ellen had 14400, Whitney had 1800, and I had 19800.  He too wagered a weak 1000.  This was likely to be the last clue of the game, as Mr. Trebek had already warned that there was less than a minute left to go in the round.  Why not go for the kill, since you have less than half of someone’s total?  Anyway, this was the clue: “Made famous in 1945, it’s an extinct volcano on Iwo Jima.”*  Admittedly, this was tough, and I, like Matt, did not have a response.  This was in fact he last clue of the round, so the game was a lock for Ellen going into the final.  The category was Music and Movie Superstars, one of my strengths!  This was the clue: “These 2 are the only Best Actress Oscar-winners to have number one hits on the Billboard Top 40.”*  Ellen and Matt missed it, while Whitney got it right.  Not that it mattered to the outcome, but Matt once again wagered 1000 for seemingly no good reason.  We will see Ellen again tomorrow!  (Done in half an hour!)
*Pavlov, Frank Thomas, William Faulkner, spoonbill (I added “platypus”), coal miners, Suribachi, Barbra Streisand and Cher