Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 20th Century Physics) for Tuesday, December 14, 2021 (Season 38, Game 67):

Puzzlingly heavy & long-lived particles discovered in the 1940s were dubbed this adjective later applied to even smaller particles

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Hester Blum, an English professor at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
Hester Blum on Jeopardy!
Marti Canipe, an elementary science education professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona
Marti Canipe on Jeopardy!
Alisa Hove, a botany professor at Warren Wilson University in Asheville, North Carolina
Alisa Hove on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: Today’s semifinal between Hester, Marti, and Alisa will likely be decided on rebounds. Hester picked up 9 incorrect responses in her quarterfinal match; if that number goes down significantly, Hester has the buzzer timing to dominate proceedings today. If that doesn’t happen and Hester continues to give a lot of incorrect responses, Marti and Alisa will be in prime position to take a spot in the finals.

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Correct response: What is strange?

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More information about Final Jeopardy: (The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2021 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

The concept of strangeness in particle physics was introduced by Murray Gell-Mann, Kazuhiko Nishijima, and others to describe how particles like kaons and hyperons were created very easily but decayed much slower than expected than their larger masses would otherwise have indicated. A new “strangeness” quantity, which was also seen to be at equilibrium at the creation of these particles, was devised as an explanation. At least, that’s how I understand it—there aren’t a lot of concepts asked about on Jeopardy! that I can’t seem to get my head around, but this appears to be one of them—Wikipedia has an article about it that might help better.

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

Scores going into Final:
Alisa $13,200
Hester $4,800
Marti $2,200

Tonight’s results:
Marti $2,200 – $2,200 = $0 (What are quarks?)
Hester $4,800 – $1,200 = $3,600 (What are nano particles?)
Alisa $13,200 – $3,000 = $10,200 (What is subatomic?) (Finalist)

Alisa Hove, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the December 14, 2021 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Alisa $3,800
Marti $1,800
Hester $1,000


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) A LECTURER $600 (clue #18)
Hester 1200 -800 (Alisa 600 Marti 2600)
2) DIFFERS BY A LETTER $1200 (clue #14)
Alisa 9400 +3000 (Marti 600 Hester 4600)
3) LET’S TALK REVOLUTION $1200 (clue #25, $7600 left on board)
Hester 7400 -2600 (Alisa 13200 Marti 2600)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -70

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: 16th CENTURY ARTS $400 DIFFERS BY A LETTER $1600 $2000
Total Left On Board: $4,000
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 11 (0.16 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Alisa $11,400 Coryat, 14 correct, 3 incorrect, 25.93% in first on buzzer (14/54), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Hester $8,200 Coryat, 15 correct, 6 incorrect, 33.33% in first on buzzer (18/54), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Marti $2,200 Coryat, 11 correct, 3 incorrect, 22.22% in first on buzzer (12/54), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $21,800
Lach Trash: $16,600 (on 15 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $11,600

Alisa Hove, career statistics:
30 correct, 4 incorrect
2/3 on rebound attempts (on 10 rebound opportunities)
24.32% in first on buzzer (27/111)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $6,000)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,200

Marti Canipe, career statistics:
28 correct, 5 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
24.32% in first on buzzer (27/111)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $1,000)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $6,000

Hester Blum, career statistics:
36 correct, 16 incorrect
1/4 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
38.74% in first on buzzer (43/111)
1/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$1,400)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $8,200

Today’s interviews:
Hester plans to purchase a 19th-century letterpress printer with her winnings.
Marti road-tripped with birds, driving them to educational programs.
Alisa teaches at a “work college”, where each student works in some way on campus.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Hester did lead on the signalling device, but much like the quarterfinal, she gave too many incorrect responses.
  • Daily Double wagering near the end of the game: making a bet that neither keeps you within 50% if incorrect nor gives you the lead if correct is less than ideal; a player really needs to do one or the other.

Contestant photo credit:

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21 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, December 14, 2021"

  1. This one seems kind of obscure unless you’re really into physics. Two of the contestants are professors in scientific fields, so maybe that will help. Then again, maybe the English professor will be the only one to get it. You never know what people know.

    • Michael Johnston | December 14, 2021 at 1:44 pm |

      Apparently it was more obscure than I thought. I got it, and I’m not a physics geek, but just an interested layperson.

  2. This question is definitely for the physics teachers and professors from high school or college. Maybe then students should know. I took physics at one time in college and covered a bitness of Strangeness physics but never got into deep depth of it. Still I am happy alisa got the finalist spot.

  3. Is it unusual to have clues left on the board in a tournament? I know the quarterfinals, there are no clues left. I just find it odd.

    • They had 15 triple stumpers and 12 incorrect responses. That eats up a lot of time.

    • Jason Sterlacci | December 14, 2021 at 5:19 pm |

      In semifinals matches, it isn’t. For the quarterfinals, every clue is played so everyone is on theoretically equal footing for the wild card spots.

  4. Really had no idea but usually something in the clue is important so zeroed in on peculiar and synonyms deciding to go with strange.

  5. Sorry meant puzzlingly, peculiar was one of the adjectives i thought of.
    Dissecting the clue answer is (this adjective) so clue started with an adjective so went with an synonym for puzzlingly. So often there is something in the clue that will lead you to at least guess for the answer.

  6. Ginny McShane | December 14, 2021 at 4:36 pm |

    Guessing doesn’t pay off.

  7. Michael Johnston | December 14, 2021 at 5:38 pm |

    Andy wrote – “Daily Double wagering near the end of the game: making a bet that neither keeps you within 50% if incorrect nor gives you the lead if correct is less than ideal; a player really needs to do one or the other.”
    Yeah. If the Category is one you’re not comfortable with, then you should probably go small, or go big on a Category if you like it. Splitting the difference on the wager size is just a sub-optimal choice, especially when there are no more DDs and time is running out. Since it’s win or go home, you have to set yourself up to have a chance in FJ.

  8. I honestly thought this was the worst game in recent memory. Who wrote the clues? They were weird and the contestants struggled more than they should have. Regarding the Final, you could tell Mayim–a scientist herself-was thinking “WTF!”

  9. Debbie Stover | December 14, 2021 at 8:51 pm |

    Andy, can you explain the Jeopardy rule that makes it possible, in the category Alliterockers, for Joplin — rather than Janis Joplin — to be accepted as a correct response? Wouldn’t the category necessitate giving both names?


  10. This clue easy for me because I have a PhD in particle physics. But this struck me as quite hard for anyone who isn’t either a physics enthusiast or lucky with interpreting the little linguistic hint that the writers drop into the clue.

  11. I had no idea despite having LONG AGO graduated from college with a major in physics. I found it interesting that my choice for long-shot response was the same as the winner’s — subatomic. After reading the mentioned Wikipedia article, I find my 2nd choice — some adjective form of quark — to be interesting. Perhaps I once knew a little more than I remembered.

    After reading that the correct response was strangeness (and Andy’s explanation) I had wondered if this concept(?) had had an even remote influence on the naming of ‘Dr. Strange’, but after reading the Wikipedia article on that character, I think not.

  12. Pizza Face Fred | December 15, 2021 at 2:02 am |

    “Puzzlingly,” tough spell and pronunciation (can be three or four syllables?). Fifteen Triple Stumpers. Only four correct Final responses last week; one so far this week. I’m good at guessing contestant wrong answers . . .

  13. Marvin Gregory “Greg” Fuller | December 15, 2021 at 8:03 am |

    It’s strange that only one response is actually an adjective.

  14. No offense to the three very accomplished contestants, but boy was that tough to watch. Especially after Monday’s excellent Semi-final.

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