Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Novel Characters) for Wednesday, December 2, 2020 (Season 37, Game 58):

This character from an 1851 novel “was intent on an audacious, immitigable, and supernatural revenge”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

We may have lost Alex, but the show must go on. Alex wouldn’t want it any other way. Please, let’s remember him over the next few weeks of banked episodes, and then afford him the same respect to his successors that we afforded Alex when he replaced Art Fleming in 1984. Alex’s last episode airs Friday, January 8, 2021; Ken Jennings’ first episode as guest host airs January 11.

Today’s contestants:

Michael Liu, a college student from San Marino, California
Michael Liu on Jeopardy!
Leslie Minot, a grant writer from Las Vegas, Nevada
Leslie Minot on Jeopardy!
T.J. Tallie, an assistant professor of African history from San Diego, California (1-day total: $18,200)
T.J. Tallie on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: Who is Captain Ahab?

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Captain Ahab, the captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby Dick, sailed out on the voyage described in the novel because the whale had bitten off Ahab’s leg on a previous voyage; Ahab was now hell-bent on revenge.

The full quote, from Chapter 41 of the book: “Ahab had purposely sailed upon the present voyage with the one only and all-engrossing object of hunting the White Whale. Had any one of his old acquaintances on shore but half dreamed of what was lurking in him then, how soon would their aghast and righteous souls have wrenched the ship from such a fiendish man! They were bent on profitable cruises, the profit to be counted down in dollars from the mint. He was intent on an audacious, immitigable, and supernatural revenge.”

Unfortunately for Ahab, it was not a successful voyage for him; entangled in his harpoon line, Ahab fell overboard and drowned. Only Ishmael, the book’s narrator, survived the voyage, as the Pequod was destroyed by the whale.

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

Scores going into Final:
T.J. $14,000
Michael $12,600
Leslie $4,700

Tonight’s results:
Leslie $4,700 – $2,000 = $2,700 (Who is Mr. ||) [It appears at though Leslie was in the middle of writing an H for Mr. Hyde] (1-day total: $2,700)
Michael $12,600 – $10,000 = $2,600 (Who is Frankenstein)
T.J. $14,000 – $12,000 = $2,000 (What is the Count of Monte Cristo)

Leslie Minot, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the December 2, 2020 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Michael $4,200
T.J. $2,800
Leslie $1,500


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) NONPROFITS $800 (clue #24)
Leslie 1000 -500 (T.J. 1800 Michael 4000)
2) ALLITERATIVE TV SHOWS $800 (clue #16)
T.J. 8800 +2500 (Leslie 4700 Michael 9000)
3) TAKING YOUR MEASURE $1200 (clue #23)
T.J. 17700 -7300 (Leslie 4700 Michael 9000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -63

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 115 (1.98 per episode average), 2 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Leslie $5,200 Coryat, 9 correct, 3 incorrect, 15.79% in first on buzzer (9/57), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Michael $12,600 Coryat, 14 correct, 2 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
T.J. $19,600 Coryat, 25 correct, 6 incorrect, 50.88% in first on buzzer (29/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $37,400
Lach Trash: $8,200 (on 10 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $8,400

T.J. Tallie, career statistics:
42 correct, 9 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
40.35% in first on buzzer (46/114)
2/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$2,800)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,500

Leslie Minot, career statistics:
9 correct, 4 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
15.79% in first on buzzer (9/57)
0/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$500)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $5,200

Michael Liu, career statistics:
14 correct, 3 incorrect
0/1 on rebound attempts (on 7 rebound opportunities)
26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,600

Leslie Minot, to win:
2 games: 22.396%
3: 5.016%
4: 1.123%
5: 0.252%
6: 0.056%
Avg. streak: 1.289 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • T.J.’s propensity to bet too much in Final Jeopardy! came back to haunt him today. This is why leaders should be no more than absolutely necessary in Final Jeopardy!
  • My suggested bets today: T.J – $11,201; Michael – $3,199; Leslie – $1,900. As you can see, all three players bet too much.
  • If you’re here to comment on T.J.’s response on the final Daily Double, I will allow properly cited and sourced comments, provided they refer specifically to the form “Jove” and not “Jovian” and do not cite Wikipedia whatsoever. The clue read, verbatim: “The unit abbreviated MJ is used to describe the heft of extrasolar planets & other astronomical bodies–M is for mass, J is for this”

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23 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, December 2, 2020"

  1. John McCleary | December 2, 2020 at 10:48 am |

    I didn’t get this. I was thinking of Edmond Dantes from “The Count of Monte Cristo”

    • Gary Kevin Ware | December 2, 2020 at 10:35 pm |

      Unless one knew that Moby Dick was published in 1851 and even if one had read the novel, one would have to remember that phrasing in order to differentiate Captain Ahab from the most obvious literary character out for revenge, Edmond Dantes; the Count of Monte Cristo.

  2. Francine Pilon | December 2, 2020 at 11:08 am |

    I was thinking of the Count of Monte Cristo too.

  3. For some silly/stupid reason I guessed Captain Hook from Peter Pan. Right track and so far off.

    • Marc Beaudry | December 3, 2020 at 12:03 am |

      I thought of Captain Hook too. I think the word “supernatural” led me to think of fantastical stories.

  4. I also guessed Edmond Dantes. Tough clue, since revenge is a common theme in literature.

  5. This one came pretty quickly; I just had to double check and make sure it might not be Ishmael.

  6. R. B. Smada | December 2, 2020 at 1:06 pm |

    I guessed Ahab and checked to make sure Moby Dick came out in 1851.

  7. I too guessed Ahab. It’s obvious that I watch a lot of Star Trek movies, as he’s referenced as the epitome of an individual seeking revenge in two of them.

    • I’d like to point out: The Star Trek angle is a really good point here. Mark Gaberman, who writes for Jeopardy! now, co-wrote 5 episodes of Voyager.

      • The year and “revenge” led me to Ahab quickly, but it wasn’t long afterward that I recalled Star Trek: First Contact.


        “Actually… I never read it.”

  8. John Crawford | December 2, 2020 at 1:20 pm |

    I thought first of Edgar Allan Poe, thinking Moby Dick was much earlier. I eventually fell back to the correct answer.

  9. I also got ahab because that quote Call me ishmael got me on the right track. It wasn’t a tough final for me.

  10. Congrats to Leslie for surviving/winning this war of attrition in FJ! A tough one.

  11. T.J.’s bet in the last DD was exceedingly reckless and that did him in.
    I was SO hoping that the days were over when $2700 would win the game.

    • Howard:

      Your opinion is actually harmful to future contestants who may read it. Daily Doubles are, on average, much easier than Final Jeopardy!; more contestants need to realize this. T.J. essentially had an opportunity to put the game away then and there (with the added benefit that he would still likely have a second chance with Final) and took that opportunity; while it didn’t work out for him today, absolutely more players should bet that way, not fewer.

      • Thanks Andy for chiming in. I thought if anything T.J! was on the conservative side with his DD bets both yesterday and the first one today. He must have gotten his confidence up at just the wrong time then, bad luck. Kudos to him for going for the knockout while still leaving himself in the lead before for the Final.

      • Andy-
        My apologies; I certainly meant no harm to anyone.
        In my comment on TJ’s betting, I simply meant to echo your first point in “Andy’s thoughts” regarding his betting coming back to haunt him.
        Again, my apologies.

      • How does that math work? T.J. was up by almost double at that point in the game. If he’d bet about half what he did, say $3,300, he would still have a sizable lead with a few clues remaining whether he was correct or not. As it was, he fell to $1,400 ahead of Michael and didn’t recover anything by end of that round. In my opinion, he overbet in that final DD and in Final Jeopardy. By the way, how does he have a “propensity to bet too much in Final Jeopardy!“ if he’s only played in two and didn’t bet much in his first game?

        • Jason:

          Regarding your first question: Proportions are a thing. In order to hold a runaway over the final seven clues, T.J. needs to continue to outscore Michael by a two-to-one margin. Playing the final seven clues even—as is what happened—helps Michael catch up proportionally to T.J.; thus, T.J. needs to be extra-aggressive on the Daily Double in order to give himself enough distance over the final seven clues. Had T.J. bet only $3,300 and been correct, he would have only been ahead $24,400 to $12,600—not the runaway game which is the object of the exercise.

          Regarding your second: Yesterday, yes, T.J. bet a small amount relative to his score, but he bet $2,000 in a situation where he should have bet $1,401—in fact, by betting $2,000, he let Denise back into a game that she had herself given up on based on her own bet.

  12. Brad (not Rutter) | December 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm |

    Watching the flow of the game, I think TJ got a bit cocky as he had answered something like 8 straight questions when he stumbled on the dd.

    Also wondering how many times we’ve seen a champ who answered less than nine questions correctly.

  13. This game proves that even the easiest Final Jeopardy can turn into a triple stumper.

  14. Cory Harris | December 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm |

    This is probably only because I have taught the novel a bunch of times, but the antagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter fits this description, if not in exact language in spirit. Roger Chillingworth dedicates himself to vengeance on the man who slept with his wife, and his revenge is immitigable, audacious, and supernatural.

    That book, however, came out in 1850.

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