She Could. Go. All. The. Way!

      A couple of Coryats: Originally 5-8-09: 26800 (30200 without negs)
Originally 5-11-09: 32200 (34400 without negs). I laughed when I said “Hail to the Chief” at the last second for the $200 clue in CNN. (Check it out.)
     Ooh, it’s the last day of the Teen quarterfinals! The contestants:

Joe Vertnik of Mound MN
Barrett Block of Lexington KY

Emily Greenberg of Westport CT

     I think this is the first time Mr. Trebek’s made a crack about not being introduced as a “senior” himself.
     Were you guys surprised Joe had such a deep voice, considering his baby face?
     I liked Emily when she went to Completes the Book Title. Then when she said she solves the New York Times crossword puzzle almost every day, I was full-out going for her. Long live crossword puzzles! I couldn’t find evidence that she attends the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. She and her dad ought to consider going; it’s only about an hour away from her. What’s with Mr. Trebek wishing he could do the puzzle every day?
     As for Barrett, I liked his energy!
     This clue in 19th Century America was reminiscent of one from the 5-11 rerun above: “In 1854 this poet began writing ‘The Song of Hiawatha.'” Its partner from 5-11-09 was this one in Hodgepodge: “In ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ Little Eva’s first name is actually this, like the heroine of a Longfellow poem.” Both of these were triple-stumpers! I got the one from today.
     It seemed like the contestants were taking turns answering clues before the first break. Joe and Barrett each got 5 right and had 1800 and 2800 respectively. Emily got 4 right but was leading with 3400!
     I wish Mr. Trebek would’ve asked Joe how many students attended Boys State after Joe said he was one of 40 senators.
     As if to illustrate my point, each contestant had gotten one right after the break when Emily found the Daily Double in Before Finals. She had 4000, while Barrett had 3200 and Joe had 2000. Emily wagered just 800 on this clue: “In the calendar year, it’s the penultimate federal holiday.” I got this one right in time, but Emily guessed something wrong.
     Barrett broke away from the pack after that, getting 7 more right before the end of the round. He ended with 7800. Emily got 2 right and ended with 4400, and Joe got one more and had 2400. Nobody had negged yet!
     No surprise – Emily went to New in Merriam-Webster when she had a chance in Double Jeopardy. I swept the category, but I didn’t know the correct response to this tweeted clue in the category.
     I got this triple-stumper in Pop Culture: “New daytime talk shows in 2012 included one starring this host of ‘Family Feud.'” And I got this one in A Student of History: “After this Brown University history major worked as a college sports commentator, he would. Go. All. The. Way to ESPN.” Mr. Trebek wisely took a second crack at imitating the famous line.
     Barrett found the first Daily Double in the round, also in A Student of History. He’d gotten 6 right but 2 wrong and had 12600. Joe had stepped on the gas and got 9 right, earning 12800. Emily had gotten 4 right and had 8400. Barrett wagered 4000 on this clue: “Paul Ryan was greatly influenced by this female novelist who studied history in Russia.” Barrett grinned as it was being read. He got it right!
     Now if I were Barrett and wanted to find the Daily Double, I would not have gone to the top of “Hy” Five. The only other two clues on the board were in High School Geography, and both at the bottom of the column. Joe, though, continued with the category after getting that first clue right. I did get this triple-stumper in the category: “Botanically, the pluot or tangelo, for example.” I blame Emily 😉 for my neg on this clue in category, because I said what she did on that triple-stumper: “The grape variety of this flowering plant is seen here.”

     Joe said the same thing, and Emily actually got it right! By then, those two clues in High School Geography were the only ones left. So Emily found the other Daily Double. She’d gotten the one wrong and the one right since Barrett’s Daily Double and had 9200. Barrett had gotten one right and had 18200. Joe had gotten 2 right and one wrong and had 12000. I was expecting a conservative wager from Emily considering her history, and she did but did not disappoint, with 1000. This was the clue: “This Alabama city, the first Confederate capital, has a Jefferson Davis High.” I was hoping just having read “Gone with the Wind” and now “Scarlett” might help me here, but it didn’t. Emily got it right. Barrett got the last clue right, giving him a total of 20200. Emily had 10200 and Joe had 12000.
     The Final Jeopardy category was Short Stories! Here is the clue: “It says, ‘The body of the trooper having been buried in the church yard, the ghost rides forth…in nightly quest of his head.” This was a triple-get, and I got it too. Emily and Joe both added 8000. Barrett added 3801, for the win.
     I delayed the gratification of seeing the list of semifinalists, til I watched it through the second time. (It’s so much fun!) So see the final list below:
Kelton Ellis (win)
Nilai Sarda (win)
William Crouch (win)
Leonard Cooper (win)
Barrett Block (win)
Joe Vertnik ($20000)
Tori Amos ($19600)
Emily Greenberg ($18200)
Irene Vazquez ($15000)
Katie Stone ($13800)
Olivia Hummer ($7800)
Lila Anderson and Arjun Byju (tie at $4800)
Jordan Villanueva ($4799)
Brittany Poppen ($1400)
     I wish Olivia had made it but at least I don’t have to be torn over who to cheer for: Emily. No one seems like a jerk, though.
     My Coryat today was 33600 (36000 without negs).