Coop de Grace

     I loved this game. It was just fun. Okay, getting *10* triple-stumpers in the first two rounds may have had something to do with it. It cracked me up, in fact! And that wasn’t even all of them!

     The contestants:

Anderson Cooper

Thomas L. Friedman (NOT Kinky)

Kelly O’Donnell

     Anderson was introduced by Johnny as “busy” at the top of the show, and Mr. Trebek mentioned it during Anderson’s interview. This led me to think about Ryan Seacrest’s ubiquity, which then led me to think: Why couldn’t Anderson host Jeopardy! when Mr. Trebek retires? He’s the best option I’ve seen or come up with.
     Cooper’s been on Jeopardy! a couple of times before. But his appearance today came as a shock to my dad, who sat down in the den and started reading while I was watching today’s episode the second time (to take notes). He soon looked up from his paper and said, “Anderson Cooper?!”
     Three of those triple-stumpers came before the first break. I hope you’ll allow me to indulge in listing them all. (And I’d like to know which ones you got, too!)

  •  In Domestic Affairs (ooh la la): “Lady Emma Hamilton was this British naval hero’s mistress and inherited money from him after he died at Trafalgar.” I’ve been to Trafalgar Square in London, and I will never forget this!

     Anderson got 3/4 in the category, which I swept, before this triple-stumper in the same category. He cracked, “Why I’m so good at this category I don’t know.”

  • “In 1745 Louis XV took her as his official mistress; she gave her name to a fabric and a big hairstyle.” (Anderson said he was trying to make Madame “Beehive” fit the clue.)
  • In 21st Century Lingo: “It’s the ‘tiny’ term for a person who writes short posts about one’s personal life on Tumblr or Twitter.” (Thomas, who signed his name “Tom,” guessed “tweeter.”)

     This was the last clue before the first break, in Inside the Beltway: “In the late 1950s Nils Bohlin of this Swedish company pioneered the use of safety belts in automobiles.” I said what Kelly did (“Saab”), and Anderson got it right, widening the gap: Anderson had 3000 and each of his opponents had -400. That led to this reaction:

     By the way, did you notice that Anderson was using his pointer finger to ring in?
     I wasn’t a fan of Kelly’s interview. First, is it just me or did she mess up the quote about having a friend in Washington (a dog)? Otherwise her interview seemed rehearsed, as when she said she hoped she would not be in the doghouse with her charity (Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation) at the end of the show.
     The first clue after that break was a triple-stumper, still in Inside the Beltway: “These objects also known as planetoids are mainly found in a ‘belt’ of them between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.”
     Anderson dove for the clues of higher value when warned that time was running out. There were nine clues left on the board in the Jeopardy round, and a whole category, Here’s to the Irish, was hidden. Maybe they thought Kelly O’Donnell would go for that one. She was in the hole 400 at the end of the round, while Anderson had 4200 and Thomas had 2800.
     On to a Double Jeopardy triple-stumper:

  • In TV Guide Movie Synopses: “2010: ‘Docudrama about the triple crown-winning race horse.'” I got this one in the nick of time. Kelly had said “Seabiscuit,” and I suspect many people did.

     The next clue was the Daily Double, in the same category. Anderson benefited from Kelly’s gaffe by picking this one up. He had 4600, Kelly was in the red 1200, and Tom still had 2800. Anderson wagered 1000 on this clue: “1953: ‘Life on a Honolulu army post just before the Pearl Harbor attack.” Anderson stared at it before admitting, “I don’t know what it means.” I too could’ve had an eternity, and I wouldn’t have come up with it.
     More triple-stumpers:

  • “A.C.”: “Awarded a Nobel prize, this existentialist said he would have given it to fellow Frenchman Andre Malraux.”
  • In Cold, Hilly, and Empty: “On Feb. 3, 1947 a village in this territory bordering Alaska recorded -81.4 F., an all-time low for Canada.”
  • Another in “A.C.”: “Here’s a mystery: She wrote romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.”
  • In Prepare the Prefix, which I swept: “-focus, -didact, -bahn.”
  • In I Approved This Message: “Eugene H. Peterson approved ‘The Message,’ a contemporary version of this, with all 66 books combined into one.”

     Mr. Trebek gave the one-minute warning with 4 clues left. I got one more triple-stumper:

  • In I Am Grover Cleveland: “In 1863, I paid George Benninsky $150 to do this instead of me; it was perfectly legal, and George didn’t get killed.”

     There was one more clue after the Daily Double when Anderson found it in I Am Grover Cleveland. He had 14800, Kelly had 2000, and Tom had 8400. Anderson wagered just 800! He could’ve put the game out of reach without risking much more, and Mr. Trebek said something like that. Here’s the clue: “I sent troops in to quell the 1894 Pullman Railroad Strike because it was interrupting the delivery of this.” Your first guess is probably right! Anderson got it too, and this wound up being the last clue in the round.
     Now we just have the Final left. The category was Inventors. This was the clue: “The Natl. Inventors H.O.F. said his work ‘brought the South prosperity,’ but he was out of business within 5 years.” It was yet another triple-stumper I got! Anderson had the right idea – he says he was starting to write about who invented the cotton gin. Kelly had written “Carver,” and Tom didn’t have a name written. Kelly lost 1500, Tom lost 7400, and Anderson lost 1201. Chris Wallace, then, is the celebrity with the most money at the end of his game.
     Next week on J!, three exciting things: We’ll find out if Jacob Silverman will be a four-time champ (thus knocking Beau Henson down on the list of Tournament of Champions hopefuls). We’ll get to cheer on a reader of this blog, Ursula, on Thursday and maybe/hopefully Friday and beyond! (Here’s an entry from her own blog about her experience.) And finally, I’ll be happy to be keeping track of my Coryat again.