Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 30, 2020

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Phrases of the 1950s) for Friday, October 30, 2020 (Season 37, Game 35):

A 1954 book review said of this colorful 2-word term, also applied to the post-WWI era, “the underlying hysteria lives on”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

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Today’s contestants:

Jon Posen, a speechwriter originally from New York, New York
Jon Posen on Jeopardy!
Chris Shim, a medical student & Marine officer from Elk Grove, California
Chris Shim on Jeopardy!
Carmela Chan, a biotech researcher from San Diego, California (1-day total: $24,801)
Carmela Chan on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: What is “red scare”?

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The book review in question was a February 1, 1954 pre-publication book review by Kirkus Reviews of the Robert K. Murray book Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919–1920. The Murray book was about the anti-Communist hysteria following World War I, an era still relevant in today’s America because the era saw the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The term “Red Scare” became important again in the 1950s when it was used to describe the efforts of Joseph McCarthy to find communists in the American government.

Mainstream history sources don’t cover this as much, but alongside the anti-communist “Red Scare” was a “Lavender Scare” which was much more harmful towards the LGBTQ community than the “Red Scare” was to communists, as the laws put into place during the early 1950s normalized the harassment of LGBTQ people who had been working for the federal government; thousands of LGBTQ people saw themselves fired.

The review asked, “Do we ever learn from history?” I think that the show is absolutely trying to remind us of history with many of these clues, especially as the word “socialism” is used so often as a pejorative term in right-wing electoral attack ads. I absolutely believe that America could see another “Red Scare”, or even the “Hollywood blacklisting” that I alluded to in my write-up to last Wednesday’s game. I would very much venture that the timing of this clue, with Election Day next Tuesday, to be no coincidence.

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

Scores going into Final:
Carmela $14,200
Chris $4,600
Jon $4,000

Tonight’s results:
Jon $4,000 + $3,999 = $7,999 (What is the Red Scare?)
Chris $4,600 + $4,599 = $9,199 (What is “Red Scare”)
Carmela $14,200 – $1,800 = $12,400 (What is yellow journalism?) (2-day total: $37,201)

Carmela Chan, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the October 30, 2020 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Jon $4,400
Chris $3,400
Carmela $2,400


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) HISTORIC BELLS $400 (clue #21)
Chris 4000 -1200 (Carmela 600 Jon 2800)
2) DIFFER BY A LETTER $1600 (clue #15)
Carmela 8800 +5000 (Chris 7800 Jon 10400)
3) IF YOU LIVED HERE $1600 (clue #20)
Jon 11600 -4000 (Carmela 13800 Chris 8200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -8

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! $200 $400
DJ! Round: FICTION $1200 FAMOUS MARGARETS $400 $800 $1200 BE HOME NOW $2000
Total Left On Board: $6,200
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 88 (2.51 per episode average), 2 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Carmela $10,800 Coryat, 16 correct, 2 incorrect, 30.00% in first on buzzer (15/50), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Chris $5,800 Coryat, 14 correct, 6 incorrect, 32.00% in first on buzzer (16/50), 2/3 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Jon $8,000 Coryat, 13 correct, 5 incorrect, 30.00% in first on buzzer (15/50), 0/2 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $24,600
Lach Trash: $8,200 (on 8 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $15,000

Carmela Chan, career statistics:
35 correct, 6 incorrect
3/4 on rebound attempts (on 9 rebound opportunities)
31.07% in first on buzzer (32/103)
2/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,100

Chris Shim, career statistics:
15 correct, 6 incorrect
2/3 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
32.00% in first on buzzer (16/50)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$1,200)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $5,800

Jon Posen, career statistics:
14 correct, 5 incorrect
0/2 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
30.00% in first on buzzer (15/50)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$4,000)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $8,000

Carmela Chan, to win:
3 games: 58.218%
4: 33.893%
5: 19.732%
6: 11.487%
7: 6.688%
Avg. streak: 3.393 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • If you wonder what Alex and the show does when a contestant actually forgets phrasing, look at what Alex did tonight on BE HOME NOW $1600. Alex hasn’t lost his touch, he knows what he’s doing. It’s unfortunate for Chris, because his failure to phrase ultimately did cost him victory today.
  • Because the category was “Movie Sequels”, the judges were operating on the assumption that the “2” at the end of the respective sequels was implied. Thus, Carmela was given credit by the judges on the $400 and $800 clues for her two responses there. You as a home viewer may not agree with that, but the judges have often not required that part in the past. (Now, let’s see how many people actually read this before commenting.)

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12 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Friday, October 30, 2020"

  1. “I would very much venture that the timing of this (FJ) clue, with Election Day next Tuesday, to be no coincidence.”

    Perhaps, but in my mind, it’s more directly related to this being the last episode before Halloween. And FWIW, all I could come with for FJ was “Red Menace”.

  2. Brad (not Rutter) | October 30, 2020 at 5:03 pm |

    2 consecutive high quality games. What a bummer for Chris, losing the game but because of not saying “What is?” Personally I think each player should get one warning per game.

  3. Jim Cardillo | October 30, 2020 at 7:53 pm |

    Andy, usually when a contestant gives the correct answer but omits the “What is…” at the beginning, he pauses and gives the contestant a split second to realize their omission. Did he not give Chris this pause because the round was running out of time?

  4. I have heard Alex remind a player, “remember your phrasing.” Disappointed that Chris did not get that reminder.

    • The rules of the show are clear: Alex warns you in the Jeopardy! round only. Every time you’ve heard “remember your phrasing”, it’s been in the opening round. There are no reminders in Double Jeopardy! or on Daily Doubles.

  5. Steven Maven | October 30, 2020 at 7:59 pm |

    TO: Brad (not Rutter)
    The standard practice is that Trebek warns them in the first round but not during Double Jeopardy.

  6. Thanks Steven. I was aware of that, but I think it would be better if they gave each player one pass regardless of the round. Just my opinion. I guess one downside would be it make Alex’s job harder, having to keep track of each player’s “strikes”. Curious if others agree with me.

    • Frank Smith | October 30, 2020 at 8:51 pm |

      Alex having to keep track of everyone’s “strikes” would not only make his job harder, but may also slow the game down. There were already enough unplayed clues today as is. Regardless, I’m leaning positive towards this hypothetical change, given that forgetting one’s phrasing doesn’t affect the game often, today being a rare exception.

  7. All y’all got here ahead of me (I watch J! on the DVR). Oh, how frustrating! What is worse is that Chris’s misstep was, not at the beginning, but, at the end. As said above, he would have won.

    Notably, for him to be a major in the USMC, and to be a med student, that makes me think. As O-4, he’s mid career. For the USMC to let him go to med school at that point is highly unlikely. He could be in the reserves, now, though. Also, I don’t believe that he attended Annapolis, as he didn’t have the rifle or pistol qualification medals (he did have the Marine Corps medals for both of those, but, if you do it at the Academy, you get the Navy medals). Nonetheless, I’m just a little bit bummed. I would like to have seen him chew it up a little.

  8. @Mr. Saunders, all: ouch that was a tough loss. I feel like Bill Buckner at the 1986 World Series, or Scott Norwood at Super Bowl XXV, or Chris Webber at the 1993 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, or….

    Hillary Clinton watching the 2016 returns in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin?


    @Jason: I’m a Reservist who deliberately chose to stay in the SMCR instead of joining Navy Medicine (thus, I’m in the military and I’ll practice medicine, but I’m not in military medicine). Marine Corps didn’t send me to medical school; I went sua sponte. I commissioned from OCS after going to Harvard undergrad (not the USNA), and even if I had, Marines don’t wear Navy marksmanship medals (check out the command photo of any number of officers who are Academy graduates, e.g. Regardless, thank you for your analysis and your kind words.

  9. I tried J6! Sunday evening (an hour later since HI does not observe DST). Normally the new game comes on at exactly 21.06 (????) J6! So I tried 22:06 and later, but it showed still Friday’s J6!. (Happy Halloween ect.) I hope they did not scratch it, I’ll try again Mon morning.

  10. Prithvi Sudhakar | November 2, 2020 at 7:02 am |

    Just like Carmela, I was also thinking yellow journalism.

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