There will be blood oranges

     Today I decided to look at my e-mail address book and send out a mass e-mail  to anybody whose name I recognized that I’d lost touch with – co-workers when I lived in California, teachers and classmates from my alma maters (College of Saint Mary and University of Nebraska Medical Center), etc. (I had to make sure of the plural form on that one!) I thought I’d tell people on the early side, and I thought I could make it somewhat simple – five weeks from today! I got 8 responses in half an hour, and some more after that! I feel lucky. I told them about the blog and leaving comments, so I hope I’ll be getting more of those soon.
     Before I get into today’s episode, my Coryat from last night’s GSN episode was 24600. The first time I played…10600?!? I almost couldn’t believe it when I looked it up. I wrote that I had 11 negs compared to the contestants’ 6, 6, and 3. I wrote that my Coryat would’ve been 20200 without the negs. This time I count 4 negs.
     Today’s contestants (familiar faces, now that it’s the semifinals!):

Lisa Johnston (I kinda like her hair and clothes today.)

Justin Hofstetter


Kathryn Wendling (Does she look a little like Sela Ward?)

     I started strong today, going 14/15 before the first break. I swept School of Rock and Go “Big”, including this triple-stumper: “Ovis Canadensis is this mountain dweller.” This is the only one I missed before the first break (I guessed Gucci even though I didn’t really know). In Italian Dressing: “One of the first designs of this Italian woman, first name Muiccia, was a handbag made of pocono nylon.” Lisa said “Pucci”! At the first break, Justin had a huge lead that was typical of him when you consider yesterday (6000 already to to Kathryn’s 1200 and Lisa’s -800). And speaking of yesterday, Justin ditched the polo for an orange shirt today, but he still looked quite casual! I don’t mind a guy’s undershirt showing, but on Jeopardy!?
     I tweeted another Jeopardy! blogger about Justin’s clothes. You’ve probably already clicked it, but watch out for the f-bomb. I don’t necessarily feel the need to warn you, but last time I linked to his blog I got nailed – and we’re talking almost instantly. The reader was a child whose comments were ghost-written by his dad. I haven’t seen the boy around here in a long time, but he has a way of showing up once I think he is not coming back! Don’t get me wrong – he did have valuable comments.
     Anyway, I was curious what the blogger thought of Justin’s outfit because the blogger has griped in the past about male contestants who don’t wear ties! This is what he had to say. (He doesn’t disappoint!)
     And speaking of orange, this clue made me think of one on a recent GSN rerun (the entire clue is visible in the picture):

     You know, a former super-champ who advised me after I passed the test but before my audition, specified fruit as something I should focus on. I thought that was so strange, but here it is.
     Did anyone else go “What the crap?!” when Kathryn’s “Trump Towers” was accepted in response to this clue in Or Go Home? I know my Trump stuff and I knew that was wrong, but I fell for it anyway and was gonna count mine wrong: “To the penthouse of this alliterative building at 725 5th Avenue, if you’re the star of a reality show filmed downstairs.” When Lisa found the Daily Double in the same category 2 clues later (also the last clue of the round), Mr. Trebek informed her of her mistake and penalized her. Lisa had 3800, Kathryn had 2000, and Justin had 7400. I’d have wagered it all, but she wagered 1800 on this one: “To Springwood Estate in this New York town, if you’re our 32nd president (or his ghost).” This is a poorly-worded clue, and I doubt it’s just because I made the same mistake Lisa did. We both gave the correct president, but that’s not what they wanted.
     Kathryn had a little chance for revenge when she found the first Daily Double of the next round 2 clues in, in the category February is Black History Month. (Weird category title.) She wagered all of her 2400 on this clue: “A vessel called this historic ship ‘of Liberia’ left the U.S. in February 1820 carrying free blacks back to Africa.” Now I thought this clue was terrible, too! She missed it, but she had a better guess with “Amistad” then I did. That is, none at all.
     I did what Lisa, then Justin did, on this clue in Autobiographies: “A Vietnam veteran: ‘Born on the Fourth of July.'” I totally thought it was “Kovacs.” Lisa said “Kovac? Kovacs?” then Justin said “Kovacs.”
     Now how could a Jeopardy! fan go wrong with a category called This is…a Jeopardy! Category! Too bad – it was terrible too. A clue was read by Mr. Trebek, then Johnny would yell, “This! Is! [another piece of the clue]!” Two of the clues were triple-stumpers.  In fact there was such a “plethora” of triple-stumpers (to reference another clue) that Justin apologized to Mr. Trebek. I did get this one in U.S. Place Names, and I suspect you did too!: “This North Carolina fort likes to ‘boast’ that it’s named for a confederate general who was born in the state.” Two people even guessed wrong!
     Mr. Trebek announced that there was less than a minute left in the round, with 6 clues remaining. When there were three clues left – a 1200, 1600, and 2000 – Justin went for the 1600, which I think was the right move. I think the remaining Daily Double would be more likely to be found there, and he was already leading. It wasn’t the Daily Double though, and Lisa answered it correctly. Then for some reason she went for the 1200, instead of the higher-value clue, when she was so far behind! It was the Daily Double, though. Then, oh Lisa. She wagered only 3000 of her 8000 while Justin had 18200, and with one clue left that may well remain covered. Even if she’d doubled, though, she’d still have less than Justin. This was the clue: “The name of this suburb of Washington, D.C. is from the Hebrew for ‘House of Grace.'” I had the “Beth-” part right but couldn’t come up with the whole thing. When Lisa gave the correct response, even Mr. Trebek told her she should’ve bet more! Lisa laughed it off. I’d like to have seen some fire in her belly.
     *Edit: I don’t like to read the message board thread
on the episode I’m blogging about until after I’ve published. Well, I get there and the consensus – so far, and it’s early – is that Lisa should’ve bet less – 1100 in fact. If she’d gotten it right, then, she’d have half of Justin’s total with one clue left that may remain covered. She could wager it all on the final then and hope to tie Justin, forcing a one-question playoff. So they say.)
     At any rate, that last clue did remain covered. The Final Jeopardy category was The New Testament – appropriate for Ash Wednesday! The clue: “In chapter 1 of the Acts of the Apostles, Matthias is chosen to replace him.” I don’t like it much when people go, “Really?” but…Really? This was a no-brainer for me, and all three contestants got it right, too.
     Usually I don’t get into the wagering discussion over on the Jeopardy! message boards, but it’s worth it here tonight: Kathryn wagered 219. (I’d probably have wagered nothing.) Lisa added 10500, a wager that was too big: She should expect Justin to cover her if she’d doubled. Since he would win in that case, assuming he answered correctly, she should wager as if he’d answer incorrectly. Lisa could expect Justin’s wager to be 3801. So if Justin misses, he’d have 14399.  Lisa then should wager 3400 – her only real chance. Justin actually wagered 4000.
     Lisa’s wager was too big vis a vis Kathryn, too. If Kathryn had doubled and Lisa missed, she’d wind up in third place.
     So Justin wins, and get this – he made the sign of the cross at the end! And I criticized his nasty Twitter feed yesterday! We’ll see him in the finals. Tomorrow – Brooks Humphreys.

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