Cue the theme to “The Twilight Zone”…

     (Not because these are today’s contestants):

Danielle Harlow

Stewart Tuttle
Steve Sobelman
     Stewart, who impressed yesterday, was off to a fast start today.   He correctly responded to the first three clues of the round in World Cities, the first two of which I thought were pretty tough: “In 1949 Indonesia became independent & Batavia became this capital city” and “(read by Jimmy from Israel) When this city had problems treating its sewage prior to the 2008 Olympic games, Amiad’s water filtration company helped with machines like the E.B.S. filter.”  Stewart and Steve both missed the fourth clue: “This Irish city is home to Reginald’s Tower, said to date from 1003, but is better known for its crystal.”  Steve said “Blarney.” ???  Danielle got it right, and the next clue was the Daily Double, still in World Cities.  She led even though Steve had gotten those first three right, which shows how costly an incorrect guess can be.  She wagered just 500 of her 800 on this clue: “Morocco has its own ‘white house,’ this city whose name means just that.”  She got it right.
     I got this triple-stumper in Which Bible Book?, even though I wasn’t even sure it was a book in the Bible.  I had to memorize the books of the Old Testament in 6th grade, but the deeper in the Old Testament the book is, the rustier I am.  Here is the clue: “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas.”
     Just before the break, Steve had a couple of good gets in For the Home Team, and the one after the break, too.  One of the clues was similar to a clue I came across playing Jeopardy! on the Wii today (but I knew it then, too): “Fans of this NBA team can look up to the rafters and see 22 retired jerseys, including Larry Bird’s.”  Steve had 600, Stewart had 1200, and Danielle had 1700 at the first commercial break.
     Speaking of Wii Jeopardy!, I had a clue today about T.S. Eliot and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” two things I would not have linked together before.  Later today I went to see “Midnight in Paris.” It wasn’t bad, and with all those characters it’s educational for those studying for Jeopardy!  One of them was T.S. Eliot.  When the protagonist met him, he said like, “J. Alfred Prufrock is my mantra!”  Now that fact will certainly be stuck in my head!
     Another strange coincidence: Would you believe I just bought a book of these stamps today?: (category U.S. Stamps) “The Latin Music Legends series of course includes this woman in her signature fruity hat.”  Here’s the proof:

     At the end of the round, Stewart had 3000, Steve had 4200, and Danielle had 3100. 
     Stewart found the Daily Double two clues in, in American Poetry.  Here’s the next weird coincidence: I just learned this from playing Wii Jeopardy! today.  (Okay, it was either that game or Wii Trivial Pursuit, I’m not sure which!)  Imagine my excitement when I pulled out the correct response to this: “He began a 1951 poem, ‘Good morning, Daddy!  Ain’t you heard the Boogie-Woogie rumble of a dream deferred?'”  Oh, it was heaven!  It took me a second, though.  It’s a good thing for me Stewart used all of his time, but he didn’t come up with it, unfortunately.  He lost 3000 of his 3400.  (Steve’s and Danielle’s scores were the same as when the round began.)  After that miss, Stewart jumped to the 2000 clue, but in the same category.
     Danielle found the next Daily Double, in Hero Sandwich.  It’s kinda like Before and After.  You have to insert two words into the clue, that will form the name of a “hero.”  Sample clue that just happens to mention my happy hometown: “F. Murray _______ _______ Nebraska.”  I thought this category was pretty tough, and I only got one of them right.  Danielle led with 11500 after almost sweeping Soderbergh Movies in Other Words.  Her only mistake in the category was saying “Ocean’s Eleven” instead of “Ocean’s Twelve” for this clue: “Pacific’s Dozen.”  At Daily Double time, Stewart had 4800, and Steve had 8200.  I was disappointed that Danielle only wagered 1000.  Mr. Trebek said before she wagered, he thought she seemed comfortable in the category.  I went back and checked, and she only answered one of the previous three right!  Here was her clue: “Red-breasted _____ ____ ornament.”  I only got it after she said the first word of the two (so I’m not counting it toward my Coryat, obviously!)  She didn’t come up with the second word.  Then I was disappointed when Mr. Trebek said she was “wise” to wager only 1000.  At Final Jeopardy, she had 15300, Stewart had 4000, and Steve still had 8200.  The category was Medical History, something else that worked in my favor because I am an RN.  Here was the clue: “In December 1967, Louis Washkansky, a patient in this country, claimed, ‘I am a new Frankenstein.'”  I knew where the doctor is from who created the artificial heart, so I got this one right.  Stewart knew it, too.  He added 2800 to his score.  Steve, who I thought performed well today overall, missed it and lost 7200.  Danielle, too, missed it, but she only wagered 600.  It wouldn’t have been enough had Steve doubled.  At any rate, we’ll see her Monday.
     My Coryat was a pretty good 28000.  Danielle‘s was 16800, Stewart’s was 7000, and Steve’s was 8200.
     It’s not every day you see conservative wagers work and bold wagers fail.  How long will she last?
     Even though it’s just been two games, I’m kinda gonna miss Stewart.  He had two of the best contestant interview stories I’ve heard in a long time.  He knows how to tell a story.  (But the ones I heard at my audition this week were pretty good, too.)

     Is it just me or have the episodes been extra good this week?