Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 20th Century People) for Wednesday, December 8, 2021 (Season 38, Game 63):

Gen. MacArthur said this man’s death by “violence is one of those bitter anachronisms that seems to refute all logic”

(correct response beneath the contestants)


Today’s contestants:

Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, an assistant professor of U.S. and African-American history at the University of Colorado-Boulder
Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders on Jeopardy!
Lisa Dresner, an associate professor of writing studies at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
Lisa Dresner on Jeopardy!
Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California
Sam Buttrey on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: Things have started to heat up a bit in the 2021 Professors Tournament; Gary Hollis and Marti Canipe have already qualified for the semifinals, while Katie Reed and Hester Blum are holding down the first two wild card spots. At least one more semifinalist will be named today!


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Correct response: Who is Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi?


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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.)

Upset at how Gandhi had gone on a hunger strike and called for India to stop religious violence against Pakistan (as well as paying some monies owing to Pakistan), a Hindu nationalist assassinated Gandhi on January 30, 1948. Gandhi had become world-renowned for leading nonviolent protest in India against the British rule, and had led to India and Pakistan gaining independence in 1947. Gandhi, however, had also preferred religious pluralism (many religions coexisting), instead of the Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan that Britain granted.

However, I think that where the writers decided to cut the quote off makes for a clunkily worded clue today, even though the clue is technically correct as written—the words quoted were actually said by MacArthur. Considering that character space is always a consideration, though, I’d like to posit that the clue should have been worded, “Gen. MacArthur said this man’s assassination was ‘one of those bitter anachronisms that seems to refute all logic'”, a wording that comes in 3 characters shorter than the show’s chosen wording.


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

Scores going into Final:
Sam $22,400
Lisa $6,400
Ashleigh $3,200


Tonight’s results:
Ashleigh $3,200 – $3,200 = $0 (Who is John F. Kennedy?)
Lisa $6,400 – $6,400 = $0 (Who is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr?)
Sam $22,400 – $0 = $22,400 (Who is J.F. Kennedy?) (Semi-Finalist)


Sam Buttrey, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the December 8, 2021 game.)


Wild card standings:
Monday: Gary Hollis, $20,000
Tuesday: Marti Canipe, $13,400
Wednesday: Sam Buttrey, $22,400
1. Katie Reed, $12,000 ($14,000), 99.448% to advance
2. Hester Blum, $12,000 ($8,600), 93.559% to advance
3. John Harkless, $4,000, 7.028% to advance
4. Gautam Hans, $1, 0.021% to advance
5.Lisa Dresner, $0 ($6,400)
6. Ashley Lawrence-Sanders, $0 ($3,200)


Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Sam $8,000
Ashleigh $4,000
Lisa $1,400


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Opening break taken after: 15 clues


Daily Double locations:
1) DEALING WITH THE ENVIRONMENT $1000 (clue #22)
Ashleigh 1400 +1000 (Sam 5400 Lisa 1400)
2) LITERARY PROFESSORS $1600 (clue #2)
Lisa 1400 +1400 (Sam 8000 Ashleigh 4000)
3) NAMES & PLACES OF 2021 $800 (clue #30, $0 left on board)
Ashleigh 5200 -2000 (Sam 22400 Lisa 6400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 103


Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 8 (0.13 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles


Game Stats:
Sam $22,400 Coryat, 29 correct, 0 incorrect, 47.37% in first on buzzer (27/57), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Ashleigh $5,200 Coryat, 12 correct, 3 incorrect, 22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
Lisa $6,600 Coryat, 6 correct, 1 incorrect, 10.53% in first on buzzer (6/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $34,200
Lach Trash: $16,400 (on 12 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $3,400

Sam Buttrey, career statistics:
29 correct, 1 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
47.37% in first on buzzer (27/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $22,400

Lisa Dresner, career statistics:
6 correct, 2 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
10.53% in first on buzzer (6/57)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $1,400)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $6,600

Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, career statistics:
12 correct, 3 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 1 rebound opportunity)
22.81% in first on buzzer (13/57)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$1,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $5,200

Today’s interviews:
Ashleigh had a class discussion about what historical figures would survive a zombie apocalypse.
Lisa also heads the LGBTQ+ studies program at Hofstra.
Sam had a father who was also a professor.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I’m sure my myriad friends who work (or have worked) at Shopify will be very disappointed that COMPANY COLORS $800 fell for a Triple Stumper. It’s certainly been a bad few weeks for Ottawa-related clues on the show (Shopify was founded in Ottawa and its head offices were located there before the company went virtual at the start of the pandemic).
  • I wish that Mayim would remember to remind contestants that they can wager up to the highest value of a clue on the board on Daily Doubles; this is not the first time she’s done this, and it has a negative effect on gameplay.

Contestant photo credit: jeopardy.com

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22 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, December 8, 2021"

  1. Wonder if first name is needed since multiple Gandhis were assassinated in the 20th century.

  2. I see no excuse for clunky (to use Andy’s very appropriate word) or confusing clues: with the stage lights, the cameras, the time pressure and the necessary retrieval of information, all of which affect the players, I see nothing gained by semantic or linguistics highjinks. Shame on the writers.

  3. I will post an argument for the current wording and against Andy’s rewording – because of the mention of death by violence, specifically, Gandhi came to mind. If it just said assassination I would not have gotten this one.

    • I would have to agree–the weirdness of the phrasing “death by violence” at least made it clear that “violence” was somehow key to the clue, and Gandhi was famously associated with non-violence.

      Otherwise it would just be, effectively “who was assassinated during the era when MacArthur was prominent enough of a figure to be quoted?” Probably a toss up between Gandhi and Kennedy at that point.

      Maybe a slight tweak:

      “Gen. MacArthur said this man’s violent death was ‘one of those bitter anachronisms that seems to refute all logic’”

      • I think the clue gets less clunky just by moving the opening quotation marks to before “one”. I’m not sure what’s anachronistic about Gandhi’s death, though. Did McArthur mean he should have died later? Seems like “ironic” was what he meant.

        Honestly I didn’t hate this clue when I first saw it, but it probably deserved the cutting room floor too.

        Dammit, Jeopardy, this should not be that hard.

        • I was wondering that as well, but “anachronism” makes more sense in the context of the rest of his remarks:

          “In the evolution of civilization, if it is to survive, all men can not fail eventually to adopt his belief that the process of mass application of force to resolve contentious issues is fundamentally not only wrong but contains within itself the germs of self-destruction. Gandhi was one of those prophets who lived far ahead of the times.”

          So the fact the fact that people were still settling contentious issues with violence was the anachronism he was referring to–though this information wasn’t available to the contestants, which just added another layer of confusion to the question.

    • Michael Johnston | December 8, 2021 at 2:02 pm |

      Yeah, although I wasn’t sure of the answer I guessed Gandhi because of the implied irony. And that’s two FJ in a row! See if I can keep up the new winning streak 🙂
      Hester’s chances at the semis improved with Lisa both going all-in and missing in FJ. It would have been a bit precarious for her if Lisa had been right.

  4. Can someone fill me in on this?

    In the first week (day of filming) of a tournament do the contestants yet-to-have played see or know the results from the earlier games? That would give a significant advantage to the Thursday and a massive advantage to the Friday contestants for the wild card spots. I know during regular play, the contestants all watch the games as the day wears on. TIA

    • It is my understanding that the contestants on these tournaments are sequestered off stage so that they don’t know what has been resulted in the earlier games. That is my understanding from years ago.

    • Jason Sterlacci | December 8, 2021 at 2:22 pm |

      Contestants are sequestered until they play.

  5. This was an easy final and even I would have gotten Ghandi but I thought everyone would have known him. Kennedy I highly doubt that since there have been a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding that guy’s death in the past. But still though any history professor regardless of US or world should not have missed this final. There was no violence when Kennedy was assassinated.

    • Nancy Menzel | December 8, 2021 at 6:08 pm |

      You do not think gunshots to the head are violent?

    • Referring to John F. Kennedy as “that guy” is one of the most insulting wordings ever to have been written in these comments. Shame on you Lou.

  6. Congrats to Sam, 29-0 on responses prior to FJ! He should be a force to be reckoned with in the semifinals and very possibly the finals.

    While a McArthur reference to JFK, as Sam and Ashleigh wrote (he died in 1964, a year after JFK) is theoretically possible, the famed World War II General in 1948 when Gandhi was assassinated was still a household name, but by the 1960’s much less so.

  7. A question for Andy…What do we know about the new producer, Michael Davies?

  8. On the golf clue in the Jeopardy round, you don’t always get disqualified for having an incorrect scorecard as if you turn in a score higher than what you actually shot, the score stands, just like what happened to Roberto Di Vincenzo in the 1968 Masters, as Roberto signed for a 4 on the 71st hole instead of the 3 he actually got. Thus, the 4 stood, knocking him out of a playoff against Bob Goalby. You are DQ’d if you sign for a score lower than you actually shot.

  9. Notwithstanding the wording of the Final Jeopardy! clue, the “Andy’s Thoughts” section needs a tweak, I think. Something to the effect of…

    “Full disclosure: Shopify powers The Jeopardy! Fan online store.”

    Given the existing business relationship between Shopify and TJ!F, I think it incumbent to so state in the same section.

  10. Pizza Face Fred | December 8, 2021 at 10:46 pm |

    Awkward punctuation. When a run-in quotation contains quotation marks within the quoted material itself, use single quotation marks in their place. When the material being quoted contains a quotation within a quotation (i.e., something in single quotation marks), use double quotation marks. In this case, the writer uses a single quotation mark immediately followed by a double quotation mark . . .

    • Pizza Face Fred | December 8, 2021 at 10:53 pm |

      In the United States, the rule of thumb is that commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, and colons and semicolons (dashes as well) go outside . . .

      • Pizza Face Fred | December 8, 2021 at 11:23 pm |

        British English puts commas and periods (full stops) outside the quotation marks unless the quotation is also a complete sentence or the punctuation is part of the quotation . . .

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