The Elements of Silas

     Look at this retweet from O’Brien’s Pub Quiz – Bob Harris appears in the New York Times for his work with the microfinance institution Kiva, and his upcoming book, “The International Bank of Bob.” Have a look. I remember when Bob spoke about this book at the 2011 unofficial reunion. It’s been a long time coming!
     Today’s contestants, for Day 3 of the Teachers Tournament!

Marion Penning of Baltimore MD
(I think I like her dress, but it’s too bad we couldn’t see more of it!)
Robin Cheney of Rancho Santa Margarita CA
(Did her soft voice surprise you?)

Chris Pae of Suwanee GA

     So do you accept “the ten percent” in response to this clue in Taking a “Ten” Dance? (That’s what I said.) “W.E.B. DuBois wanted to develop the youth he called ‘the talented’ this.” By the way, I don’t recall that a category with quotes ever being at the far left of the board. Do you?
     I swept Color My World to finish the first segment of the show. Robin had gotten 7 right but 2 wrong and had 1600. Marion too had 1600. She’d gotten 3 right. Chris had gotten 2 right and had 1200.
     I got these two triple-stumpers in Network Initials:

  • “CBS”
  • “GAC” This one’s going on the weekly poll.
     Robin found the Daily Double of the round in Civics. She had gotten 2 right and one wrong since the break, and had 2600. Chris had gotten 4 right and had 2400, and Marion had gotten one right and had 2200. Robin wagered 1400 on this clue: “For a constitutional amendment to take effect, this fraction of the states must ratify it.” Fess up: did you get this one right? Robin missed it, and she has my sympathy. This one too is going on the poll.
     As long as those The Culture of Vietnam clues were (and two were triple-stumpers), I’m a little surprised we finished the round. Would you accept “heaven” for this clue in the category?:
     The contestants each got one of the three right in the Vietnam category. Robin had 1400, Chris had 3000, and Marion had 3200 at the end of the round. 
     I freaked out, you might say, at this clue in Remember Bookstores?: “A common sight at small bookstores is an in-house one of these animals, like the late Silas at A Novel Idea in Lincoln, Nebraska.” And it was a triple-stumper!! I immediately went to the store’s website and e-mailed them, and I e-mailed the Journal Star guy who interviewed me for my own J! appearance in March. I heard back from the store within minutes, and they already knew about it! I texted my sister, who my mom happens to be visiting, on the east coast. My sister didn’t know it but my mom did. My sister made a good point: Would I have known the correct response if I wasn’t familiar with A Novel Idea? My answer is “no!” I’m putting this on the poll for sure.
     The next clue was the Daily Double, also in Remember Bookstores? Marion got it. She had gotten 4 right since the round began and had 7200. Robin, who I feel is fastest on the buzzer, got 3 right and had 3400. Chris had gotten 3 right and one wrong, and had 5400. This was the clue, on which Marion wagered 2000: “This word preceded ‘ink’ in the name of one of the first mystery bookstores, opened in 1972.” I wouldn’t have gotten it, but Marion did right away!
     Okay, have you seen the word “Silas” twice in one Jeopardy! episode before? (Not counting the 2011 contestant with that name.) Here he is in American Revolution: “Silas Deane promised this young Frenchman a major-generalship in the Continental Army; Congress gave it to him.” World history teacher Chris didn’t get it. (Sorry.) And believe it or not, Deane came up in a USA Today crossword puzzle I was working a few hours after seeing this episode. But wait, there’s even more: I saw “Silas” again when perusing a prayer book later (Acts 16:25).
     Shame on me for not getting this one in American Revolution: “Richard Dale, his first lieutenant, was the first to credit him with the words ‘I have not yet begun to fight.'” I don’t know if Marion, who is from Baltimore, tried to ring in, but Chris got there first. It didn’t look like she was pressing the buzzer. She found the next Daily Double though, in Elemental Symbols. She had gotten 3 right since her last Daily Double and had 13200. Chris had gotten one right and one wrong and had 5800. Robin had gotten 4 right and one wrong and had 7000. Marion wagered 3000 on this clue: “French preposition between coq & vin.” (You have to think of the appropriate symbol in your head, and say the element as your response.) Marion and I got it!
     I swept Teachers in the Movies to end the round. Robin had gotten 5 right since Marion’s second Daily Double, and had 13400. Chris had gotten one right and had 7800. Marion, who had no negs in the whole game, had gotten 2 right and had 19400. I love to think about wagering in a tournament like this! What would you do?
     The Final Jeopardy category was Disasters. This was the clue: “.” In 2012 the Natl. Postal Museum marked the 75th & 100th annivs. of these 2 disasters with an exhibit called ‘Fire & Ice.'” I didn’t bother with this one myself. Chris was wrong and lost 7401. Robin too was wrong and lost 12000! (Didn’t she wager too much?) Marion got it right! She too wagered 7401, not that it matters! We’ll see her in the semis. 
     My Coryat today was 27600; 30800 without negs. (This is assuming you do accept “ten percent” and do not accept “heaven.”)  I’ve since discovered that “ten percent” is not acceptable. So I’ll say my Coryat was . 26000. And an updated list of semifinalists and potential wild cards:

Colby Burnett (Winner)
John Hines (Winner)
Marion Penning (Winner)
Michael Farabaugh (18000)
Diana North (10000)
Terry Parker (6799)
Robin Cheney (1400)
Chris Pae (399)
Francesca Leibowitz (0)