Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Warning: This page contains spoilers for the March 22, 2023, game of Jeopardy! — please do not scroll down if you wish to avoid being spoiled. Please note that the game airs as early as noon Eastern in some U.S. television markets.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category American Novelists) for Wednesday, March 22, 2023 (Season 39, Game 138):

He served with an airman named Yohannan in World War II & despite what readers might think, he said he enjoyed his service

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Zach Wissner-Gross, a vice president of math curriculum from Roslyn Heights, New York
Zach Wissner-Gross on Jeopardy!
Karen Morris, a veterinary student from Christiansburg, Virginia
Karen Morris on Jeopardy!
Melissa Klapper, a professor from Merion Station, Pennsylvania (2-day total: $42,400)
Melissa Klapper on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Two-day champion Melissa Klapper goes for victory number three tonight; Zach Wissner-Gross and Karen Morris are your two challengers. Melissa is a very strong player, as strong as recent octochamp Stephen Webb in terms of scoring in the main game. She’s definitely a player worthy of a Tournament of Champions spot; hopefully, she’ll be able to win enough to qualify!

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Correct response: Who is Joseph Heller?

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(The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2023 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, said in a 1974 letter, “How did I feel about the war when I was in it? Much differently than Yossarian felt and much differently than I felt when I wrote the novel … In truth I enjoyed it and so did just about everyone else I served with, in training and even in combat.” This might come as a surprise to readers of Catch-22, which was a satirical novel designed to lampoon both war and the military-industrial complex.

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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: Possessive Lit; Long-Lived Critters; Around The House; 4-Letter Sports Terms; Apply The Rainbow Color; At “Last”)

Melissa lost half her score on the first Daily Double; this gave Karen the lead after 30 clues.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Karen 5 correct 0 incorrect
Melissa 4 correct 1 incorrect
Zach 3 correct 2 incorrect

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Karen 10 correct 0 incorrect
Melissa 7 correct 1 incorrect
Zach 9 correct 2 incorrect

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: 1963; Making Music; Move That T From Front To Back; Resilience; Plateaus; Hans, Solo)

Interestingly, both Daily Doubles were at the $800 level; they thus came out very late in Double Jeopardy! Karen got to them both, finding the second when in a guaranteed runaway position at that point. However, she bet $10,000—and her inability to come up with a response nearly halved her score. This brought both Melissa and Zach back into play; scores going into Final were Karen at $11,400, Melissa at $8,700, and Zach at $7,200.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Karen 21 correct 4 incorrect
Melissa 14 correct 3 incorrect
Zach 15 correct 2 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 16 (0 today).

Zach and Melissa got Final correct; unfortunately, Karen did not–Melissa’s run continues after a shocking result; she’s a 3-day champion now with winnings $59,100! She’ll go for win #4 tomorrow!

Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Wednesday, March 22, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:

Karen $11,400
Melissa $8,700
Zach $7,200

Tonight’s results:

Zach $7,200 + $0 = $7,200 (Who is Keller Heller?)
Melissa $8,700 + $8,000 = $16,700 (Who is Heller?) (3-day total: $59,100)
Karen $11,400 – $6,001 = $5,399 (Who is Hunter S. Thompson)

Melissa Klapper, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the March 22, 2023 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Karen $6,200
Melissa $3,500
Zach $2,000

Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:

1) APPLY THE RAINBOW COLOR $800 (clue #12)
Melissa 3000 -1500 (Karen 3600 Zach 400)
2) PLATEAUS $800 (clue #21)
Karen 14600 +6000 (Melissa 7100 Zach 6000)
3) HANS, SOLO $800 (clue #25, $2400 left on board)
Karen 21800 -10000 (Melissa 7100 Zach 6400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -55

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Melissa 3 4 5 2 4*
Karen 3 4 4 5 5
Zach 3 4

DJ! Round:
Melissa 5 5 5 5 3 2
Karen 4 3 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 2 2* 1 2 2*
Zach 3 4 4 3 1

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Melissa 3.91
Zach 3.14
Karen 3.42

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 16 (0.12 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Melissa $10,200 Coryat, 14 correct, 3 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Zach $7,200 Coryat, 15 correct, 2 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Karen $16,200 Coryat, 21 correct, 4 incorrect, 36.84% in first on buzzer (21/57), 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $33,600
Lach Trash: $10,600 (on 8 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $9,800

Melissa Klapper, career statistics:

58 correct, 6 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 14 rebound opportunities)
31.58% in first on buzzer (54/171)
3/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $10,500)
2/3 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,000

Karen Morris, career statistics:

21 correct, 5 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
36.84% in first on buzzer (21/57)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$4,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,200

Zach Wissner-Gross, career statistics:

16 correct, 2 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $7,200

Melissa Klapper, to win:

4 games: 61.509%
5: 37.833%
6: 23.271%
7: 14.314%
8: 8.804%
Avg. streak: 4.598 games.

Today’s interviews:

Zach knew that being able to solve a hard math problem is how he knew he was “back” from anesthesia.
Karen had to schedule her appearance around birthing pregnant cows.
Melissa had a student who went “I didn’t know [a paper] was plagiarized when I bought it”.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • On the final Daily Double, any bet of $2,799 or less would have guaranteed victory then and there.
  • Today’s box score will be linked to when posted by the show.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Karen $11,400 Melissa $8,700 Zach $7,200)

Melissa: Because you can’t both cover Zach and win a Triple Stumper, you might as well go all in and force Karen to cover. (Actual bet: $8,000)

Karen: Standard cover bet over Melissa is $6,001. (Actual bet: $6,001)

Zach: Limit your bet to $1,799 and stay ahead of Karen if she misses Final. (Actual bet: $0)

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37 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, March 22, 2023"

  1. Michael Johnston | March 22, 2023 at 9:18 am |

    I don’t know much of Heller’s biography. but Yohannan and WWII made me think of Yossarian from Catch-22. I really need to read that… my knowledge of it comes (again) from the literary zeitgeist.

    • Bill Vollmer | March 22, 2023 at 5:16 pm |

      I was distracted during the reading of the clue, looked up to see Yohannan, and, the rest of the clue. briefly. s
      Somehow also made the association with Yossarian from Yohannan, knew it was Catch 22, but didn’t know if the title, or, the author, was called for as the correct response.

  2. Having read Catch 22, this was an easy one for me (first easy one for me in a while).

  3. I can’t believe I got this one! War novels are out of my wheelhouse. Although I never read Catch-22, it was popular enough that I knew what it was about and who wrote it; and the clue was clear enough for my memory to be activated. I guess, as Michael R wrote on Tuesday, just being exposed to this “obscure fact”—(I mean obscure to me!)— it “entered into” my “database”. I wonder, given the book’s popularity with the general public, would this be well-known enough for today’s contestants to have a triple get?

  4. This FJ should favor Melissa. Don’t know if younger people still read Catch-22.

    I happened to see Heller speak live at Notre Dame on April 4, 1968, just after the assassination of MLK was announced. The poor guy had to carry on the best he could with his prepared remarks, which included lots of humor.

    • I was thinking the same as you (about Melissa and the younger contestants). Unfortunately for me, even though I immediately was sure the clue was about Catch-22 and Yossarian, I could not recall the author’s name. I think Karen was in the same position as I was except I also knew that the author’s name was a pretty short name.

      • Same here. Had the book, but couldn’t remember Joseph Heller. Hate when that happens!

    • I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I was turned onto it by my brother in the Army. Lots of young people (as in under 45) know someone firsthand who’s served in our forever wars. It’s as timely as ever.

  5. An easy-peasy FJ! Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, came to mind immediately!

  6. I get Canterbury yesterday and have no idea on this one … I’ve heard of Catch-22 (not just because of the saying that came from it) but would have had no clue of the author and never read it. Some are easy to some people and not others. Got a hard one yesterday and didn’t know an “easy” one today.

  7. Thank goodness for what seemed (to me) to be an easy one today!

  8. Easy get for me. Although it has been many years since I read Catch-22, I remember it well. Excellent novel.

  9. Owwwwwch, poor Karen. She really didn’t need to wager that much on the last Daily Double. 🙁 However I’m glad we finally have a woman who wins at least 3 games this season and I hope Melissa seals that very important 4th win tomorrow.

    • Yeah, I feel bad for her. Hopefully she can laugh it off, and say, ‘oh, well’. How much time does one get realistically to think about a daily double wager – I think if they actually let you think about it (and edited it out), i.e., Melissa would have wagered for the lock on the 30th clue the other day. But that would disrupt the flow of the game.

      • I would like to know the answer to this as well. I’ve looked around and can’t find anything. It seems like DD wagers are always made very quickly, which maybe indicates pauses are edited out. Also, I can’t remember pressure from the host or a consequence for exceeding a time limit on a DD bet.

  10. I also read catch 22 so heller was my response here. But karen should have just bet 5000 instead of 10K on that daily double. I hope melissa gets that 4th win tomorrow to solidify her spot in the tournament of champions.

  11. Myron Rushetzky | March 22, 2023 at 2:44 pm |

    “Catch-22” came to me immediately, but not “Joseph Heller.”
    Andy, would the judges have accepted “Who is the author of Catch-22?”

    • Considering the judges did not accept “Who is that Russian dog?” for Laika the spacedoggo and “Who is the founder of the Girl Scouts?” for Juliette Gordon Lowe, I doubt it.

  12. I am so glad that Melissa won YESTERDAY so we could hear her interview today.

  13. I agree that Karen should have bet small in order to keep the runaway; however, with $2,799, taking any negs after the Daily Double runs the risk of allowing Melissa back into the game. In situations like these, I generally like the ideology of betting with the assumption that you will get every remaining clue incorrect and the second place player – in this case, Melissa – picks up all the rebounds. In this case, I personally would cap my bet at $399.

    • Or you could just put the buzzer down and not be tempted to ring in no matter how sure you are 🙂

    • Jim Cardillo | March 22, 2023 at 4:51 pm |

      Following your ideology, Melissa’s maximum possible score (at that point in the game) is $19,000. Karen would need at least $19,001 to lock her out. She has $21,800, so a maximum bet of $2,799 ensures she has at least $19,001.

      Sorry, this is just the proof of Andy’s theorem. QED.

      • If Karen bets $399 and is incorrect, her score ends up at $21,401. There’s $2,400 worth of clues left on the board. Melissa’s highest possible score is $9,500.

        You see where I’m going with this?

        • Jim Cardillo | March 23, 2023 at 11:09 am |

          I am not trying to speak for Andy here, but $2,799 is referred to as the “maximum” DD wager for Karen. A lesser amount, even if incorrect, would still ensure a FJ lock-out.

          • To be fair, $2,799 is the “if you’re wrong, set your buzzer down and don’t be incorrect again and you’ll be fine” threshold.

            $399 is the “you can do whatever you like, nothing you do will at all jeopardize this runaway” threshold (known as a “superlock” in J! Archive parlance).

  14. I also thought the DD bet was over-aggressive and unnecessarily risky. I did figure Heller. BTW, it was originally going to be Catch-18, but changed because Uris’ Mila 18.

    • Robert Fawkes | March 22, 2023 at 6:24 pm |

      Also considered was “Catch-27” per Erica Heller (daughter of Joseph). That actually sounds pretty good to me, too.

  15. Robert Fawkes | March 22, 2023 at 6:17 pm |

    I feel bad for Karen but all I could think of when she made that wager was that it was Cliff Clavinesque. Sometimes, it is better to just risk the minimum of $5. And apropos to someone’s previous comment, there is no reason to ring in on any remaining clues either. Once you have a runaway locked up, why risk giving it up?

    As for final, Yohannan leads to Yossarian leads to “Catch-22” leads to Joseph Heller at the speed of thought.

  16. Not to get into specifics but this was the first time in a long time I yelled at my TV watching Jeopardy (I’ll make a safe bet and assume you know why)

  17. I liked her bet on the first daily double. It was aggressive to put her into a possible runaway, but she must have figured an 800 clue would be easier so she overset on the second one.

  18. I wondered why Karen was sitting on a chair. My friend thought that contestants had to stand.

  19. I never even thought about the mathematics or logic of that Daily Double wager – probably because I wasn’t paying enough attention to the scores.
    But I was yelling at my TV because HOLBEIN was the painter of that era and H8’s court. (I was also yelling some months back when everyone missed MAGRITTE in Final.)
    Final was pretty easy, I thought; I’ve never read the book or seen the film adaptation.

  20. Just…wow. One for the ages.

  21. I kept thinking, where do I know Zach’s name from? He’s the editor of the FiveThirtyEight’s Riddler column.

  22. Robert Chaber | March 23, 2023 at 4:34 pm |

    How much time does a contestant get to place a bet for a Daily Double?

    Karen bet too much on her Daily Double. Was it the pressure of being on television and feeling hurried?

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