I’m finally back to the blog!  It’s been like a month since I last blogged, and even longer since I blogged about an episode.  I only got to write about two of Justin Sausville‘s seven games, and I haven’t gotten to write about any of Joon Pahk’s episodes…til today.  Very special thanks to Brandon, who covered for me while I was gone.
     I actually knew of Joon because he is a fellow crossword puzzle enthusiast.  Inspired by the movie “Wordplay,” I participated in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2010.  I didn’t realize it til now, but Joon won in the “B division” that year, and not only that: He was a rookie, too!  He, naturally, finished first among 160 rookies, and I finished 31st.  Joon finished 16th overall, and I finished 283rd.

Katie Proctor

Joon Pahk  (in a tie that reminds me of Harry Potter)

Leigh Wishner

     Joon had won 7 times coming into today.  Mr. Trebek noted that this was the first time he has played against two women.
     The show started scary-slow for me.  At the first break, I had equal numbers of negs, clams, and correct responses!  (Joon had 3600, Katie had 1600, and Leigh had -200.)  I ended up with 2 negs and 3 clams in Buchanan, James Buchanan, 1 neg and 3 clams in Disneyland Songs, and 3 negs and 2 correct responses in World of Words.  I swept Childhood Health, doubtless helped by my being an RN.  I also got 4 correct responses and 1 clam in Shapes & Sizes.
     The last clue of the round was the Daily Double, which Leigh found in Childhood Health.  I had a bad feeling about Leigh when I listened to her interview.  She told Mr. Trebek she told her neurosurgeon (!) a couple of years ago that she wanted to be able to “do well, or at least get on Jeopardy!, in the future.”  She didn’t strike me as the gutsy type at that moment, despite having survived brain surgery.  When she found the Daily Double, she had 2200, Katie had 3600, and Joon had 6400.  She seemed like she was trying to play it safe when she bet “just” 1000 on this clue, read by Dr. Oz: “Kids will feel full and maintain energy if they eat 7 to 10 grams each morning of this part of a balanced diet; It doesn’t have to be in cereal — 1 pear alone has 5 grams.”  Leigh immediately guessed “carbohydrate,” and was wrong.
     Unfortunately, Leigh didn’t capitalize on the next two Daily Doubles she found, either.  The next one was in National Anthems.  She had 3200, Katie had 6800, and Joon had 7800.  Leigh wagered just 500 on this clue: “Vatican City’s anthem says, ‘O noble Rome, you are the seat of’ this Apostle, ‘whose blood was shed in Rome.'”  Leigh got it right and so did I, after briefly considering St. Paul.
     Leigh found the next Daily Double just 3 clues later, in Century of the Crime.  By this time Leigh was grimacing and saying, “Good Lord!”  Mr. Trebek said, “Think positive!”  This time, she wagered 1500 of her 4500.  (Joon had 8000 and Katie had 6400.)  I’d rather have seen her go for the lead.  The clue: “The assassination of Jean-Paul Marat.”  She got it right.
     Things seemed to take a bit of a turn for the worse when Joon missed two clues and Katie got one of those right.  By the end of the round, Joon had 13200, Katie had 17600, and Leigh had 5600.  The Final Jeopardy category was Art and State Capitals.  The players all got this one right, and so did I: “The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, home to the largest permanent collection of her works, is in this state capital.”  Leigh wagered all of her 5600 (“Now you bet big,” said Mr. Trebek, which were kind of my sentiments.)  Joon wagered 4400, tying him with Katie before she added 8801 to her score.  She is a giant-killer!  We’ll see her tomorrow.  How long can she last?
     My Coryat today was 17400.  Joon‘s was 13200, Katie’s was 17600, and Leigh’s was 6600.
     As for the episodes that aired while I was gone, I had planned to watch them five at a time and standing up, as had been recommended to aspiring Jeopardy! contestants on the Sony message boards as a means of building stamina.  I only watched five in a row once, and it probably doesn’t count because I fast-forwarded commercials and also put myself in various positions (never sitting, though!) to relieve the discomfort of standing still.  I also intermittently “watched” the show with my eyes closed, relying completely on listening to the clues.  I’m going to continue doing that with every rerun I watch, like on Game Show Network and also on the weekends, rather than keeping track of my Coryat.  Now I want to acquire a simple lectern of some kind (not very easy to find), so that I can watch Jeopardy! every day standing up, and still keep track of my score.  I like posting my score on the Jeopardy! message boards and also reading those of other people, although not many are doing it anymore.  I think it’s helpful for aspiring contestants to compare themselves to others watching the show.
     Recent Coryats:
10-4: Megan Johnson 9000     Elaine Ricci 10600     Joon Pahk 23200     Me 18800
10-5: Daniel Okobi Jr. 2200     Katie Baker 13000     Joon Pahk 22000     Me 15200
10-6: Franny Howes 17000    Ted Simmons 7400    Joon Pahk 12600    Me 18600
10-7: Adam Perrotta 7000     Bret Jacobs 8200     Joon Pahk 21600     Me 27200
10-10: Jared Balkman 10200     Hannah Wachs 11200     Joon Pahk 21400     Me 28600
10-11: Ashley Shannon 11800     Michael Stewart 11400     Joon Pahk 23800     Me 20400

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