Today’s Final Jeopardy – December 20, 2019


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Classic Fiction) for Friday, December 20, 2019 (Season 36, Episode 75):

A 1902 work says of a riverboat journey, “We penetrated deeper and deeper into” this, the work’s title

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Claire Marinello-Fisher, an ESL professor from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
Claire Marinello-Fisher on Jeopardy!
Lucy Yuan, a lawyer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Lucy Yuan on Jeopardy!
Eric Smith, a bartender from Tucson, Arizona (1-day total: $17,000)
Eric Smith on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is Heart of Darkness?


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More information about Final Jeopardy:

Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness after his experiences in the early 1890s serving on a Belgian trading steamship on the Congo River. On one of Conrad’s real-life trips, the captain took ill and Conrad assumed command. Protagonist Charles Marlow was based upon Conrad himself.

While it was serialized in 1899 as a three-part story in Blackwood’s Magazine, it was not published in a book until 1902 (included in Youth: a Narrative, and Two Other Stories.) Note that Encyclopedia Britannica cites a publication date of 1902.

The work was famously moved to Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War and adapted into the classic 1979 Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.


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Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Tonight’s results are below!

Scores going into Final:
Eric $13,500
Claire $12,400
Lucy $8,400


Tonight’s results:
Lucy $8,400 + $3,000 = $11,400
Claire $12,400 + $4,401 = $16,801
Eric $13,500 + $11,500 = $25,000 (2-day total: $42,000)


Eric Smith, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the December 20, 2019 game.)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Claire $8,800
Lucy $6,000
Eric $3,200


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Opening break taken after: 14 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) WRITERS GO WAY BACK $200 (14th pick)
Claire 2200 +2000 (Lucy 3200 Eric 800)
2) THE MARSHALL PLAN $1600 (7th pick)
Eric 6000 +5000 (Claire 10000 Lucy 6800)
3) COMPOSERS & THEIR WORKS $2000 (30th pick)
Eric 19000 -5500 (Claire 12400 Lucy 8400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 145


Unplayed clues:
J! round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total $ Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 116 (1.55 per episode average), 1 Daily Double



Game Stats:
Eric $15,600 Coryat, 21 correct, 5 incorrect, 38.60% in first on buzzer, 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Clairs $10,600 Coryat, 20 correct, 4 incorrect, 26.84% in first on buzzer, 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Lucy $8,400 Coryat, 13 correct, 1 incorrect, 19.30% in first on buzzer, 2/3 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $34,600
Lach Trash: $7,400 (on 5 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $12,000


Eric Smith, stats to date:
48 correct, 10 incorrect
4/5 on rebound attempts (on 12 rebound opportunities)
42.34% in first on buzzer (47/111)
2/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$500)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,900

Eric Smith, to win:
3 games: 56.118%
4: 31.492%
5: 17.673%
6: 9.918%
7: 5.566%
Avg. streak: 3.279 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • The most recent time that the Jeopardy! round Daily Double was in the $200 box was on March 1, 2006.
  • Reminder: As has already been brought up in the comment section, the rules of the show are such that leading articles may be added, removed, or changed to a different article without penalty, so long as there is no confusion with another work. Thus, because there is no “A Heart of Darkness” or “The Heart of Darkness”, all of “Heart of Darkness”, “A Heart of Darkness”, and “The Heart of Darkness” are all counted as equivalently correct by the judges.

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12 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – December 20, 2019"

  1. “The horror, the horror!”

    This particular work of fiction is not an easy read for a number of reasons.

  2. The novella is “Heart of Darkness”. But the clue seems to set up a question beginning with “the”. So would “the Heart of Darkness” be acceptable? How do the judges deal with this? And yes, as a prior comment said, very hard to read today.

    • Yes. The rules of the show are that leading articles may be added, removed, or even replaced with another article without penalty unless ambiguity is created with another work. “Heart of Darkness”, “A Heart of Darkness”, and “The Heart of Darkness” are all considered equivalent in this case.

  3. Lucky move by Eric not to wager more on the second DD….
    Have a nice weekend (the last before Christmas) everybody!

  4. What was the Chopin Answer in the Double Jeopardy round?

  5. Weird clue that they used for the AirTrain, which doesn’t go to Penn Station. It connects the airport terminals and parking to the Newark Liberty Station which is served by NJ Transit trains and Amtrak, both of which go to Penn Station. While you certainly can get from Penn Station to EWR using the AirTrain for part of your journey, the clue seems to suggest that the entire journey can be made on the AirTrain, which is inaccurate.

  6. David Overcashier | December 20, 2019 at 10:33 pm |

    FJ was made easier by the foreshadowing of the answer, when one considered the DJ category on books made into movies with a different title. Thanks for the hint J!

  7. Dakota Erdmann | December 21, 2019 at 1:45 am |

    I felt like the clue for light heavyweight should have been easy because the category was “that’s oxymoronic”. It was a triple stumper with all three contestants buzzing in with the incorrect answer.

  8. Eric J Smith | December 21, 2019 at 1:01 pm |

    Well I was trying to get a lock game going into Final Jeopardy with that DD bet, but I did the math wrong haha! Just Glad I knew the Final Jeopardy this time!

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