Recaps, commentary and more from a former contestant and a hopeful one.

Who will win the Battle of the Decades?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All bets are off. Well, most of them.

     The scores from Monday:
Bob Fulmer 5000     Julia Carlis 1010     Tom Nissley 36799     Me 1198
     Oh, that Tom.  He had a run for his money Monday with Bob.  Bob led with 21000 going into Final Jeopardy, while Tom had 18400.  The Final Jeopardy category was 20th Century Novelists.  I remind you, Tom is an editor.  (To be fair, Julia is a librarian.)  Tom was the only one to come up with the correct response to this clue (that I wouldn't have gotten in a million years): "A critic said that a character of his, "yearning for the moon...never saw the sixpence at his feet"; he made that into a title."*  Thus the result you see above!  I wouldn't have minded seeing more of Bob, but that's the way it goes.
     Now, I like Tom okay.  But I have to admit I was sort of hoping he would not win today.  Call me selfish (and delusional!), but I want there to be as few "superchamps" (people who've won six or more games) as possible until I have a crack at the stage myself.  Here's a link to facts about superchamps that is well worth your time from, you guessed it, the Jeopardy! message boards.
     Speaking of superchamps, I was pleased when Mr. Trebek mentioned Roger Craig at the top of the show, in reference to his record-breaking one-day total and kind of in comparison to Tom's achievements.
     Here are today's contestants:


Tom Nissley

Andrew Sullivan



Danni Steiner
      You know someone looks young when I'm saying it: Andrew looks too young to me to be an attorney.  I can't believe Mr. Trebek didn't mention it; he thinks everybody looks young!
     Believe it or not, the Daily Double was the second clue of the round today, and in the 400 spot!  Tom had answered the first clue, so he got the Daily Double.  He wagered 1000 on this clue, in 4-Letter World Capitals: "This city is in the fertile northern foothills of the Alps, on the Aare river."*  He got it right, and so did I.  I only missed one in the category, in fact, this one: "It serves as the capital of a Baltic republic."*  Andrew got that one right.
     I got just one triple-stumper today, though, and it came in the category "B" Keeping: "If you're pondering your pupik, you're staring at this body part, for which 'pupik' is the Yiddish word."*
     At the first break, Tom led with 4600, Danni had 2000, Andrew had 2600, and I had 4000.  At the end of the round, Tom still led with 8600, while Danni had 2200, Andrew had 4600, and I had 9400.
     Tom found the first Daily Double of the Double Jeopardy round, too, in Have a Drink.  He, of course, was leading with 11000, while Danni had 3400, Andrew had 6200, and I had 13400.  Tom wagered 3000 on this unbelievable gimme: "It was the sanguine moniker of the Virgin Queen's sister."*  Tom got it, too.
     Danni found the next Daily Double, in Alliterative Lit.  She had 4600, while Tom had 17600, Andrew had 11800, and I had 18400.  Her wagers here and in Final Jeopardy aggravate and sadden me: 1000 on this Daily Double.  The fact that she missed it aside, the wasted opportunity!  And she was so casual.  I have to wonder what she was thinking.  I don't want to be mean, but didn't she want to win?  This has inspired me to beg you aspiring contestants to visit the Jeopardy! message boards regularly for sound advice on wagering.  Unfortunately, these words of wisdom are not all compiled in the same place, although someone did ask.  At any rate, this was that Daily Double clue: "Title peak in a Thomas Mann work."*
     At the end of the round, Tom had 19600, Danni had 7200, and Andrew had 16200, and I had 25400.  The Final Jeopardy category was The 19th Century.  This was the clue: "Thomas Huxley and Samuel Wilberforce were among the Oxford Museum speaker debating this theory June 30, 1860."*  I thought this one was pretty easy, and all three contestants got it right.  Danni added nothing to her total (sigh!).  I have to say that she was lucky that her wagers didn't matter either time that she had the chance.  I didn't like Andrew's wager, either, though: 1500.  I wonder what he was thinking, too, but it wound up not mattering for him, either: Tom, our hero, wagered enough to win if Andrew doubled (hooray!), and he is Jeopardy!'s newest superchamp.  How far is he gonna go?
*Maugham, Bern, Riga, belly button, Bloody Mary, Magic Mountain, evolution

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