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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vital signs

     I love it when I get to blog on an episode in which there's a lot to say. Like today. But it can feel overwhelming, particularly when I have somewhere to be in an hour and a half as of this moment! Do you think it'd be gauche to bring my netbook to church while I babysit? (Kidding, but only half-! I'm not getting paid, but of course I want to do it right.)
     First, a couple of reminders: I'm still looking for the people who taped Jeopardy! on December 6th and/or 7th last year. Please leave a comment or e-mail me by clicking on "View my complete profile" at the bottom of the page.
     And don't forget about the National History Bee in Omaha on March 12th. I'm gonna be there, and so will David Madden!
     Now, recent Coryats:
originally 1-11-06: 21200
originally 1-12-06: 24600
3-5-12: 22400
originally 11-4-05: 22200 (My Coryat the last time I played was 11400! Hard to believe!)
3-6-12: 33800!
originally 11-7-05: 25800 (My Coryat the last time I played was 23200.)
3-7-12: 16400
originally 11-8-05: 37600!
     Today's contestants:
Jessamine Price

Vijay Iyer

David Gard










     Kelly of the Clue Crew spoke so quickly after Mr. Trebek revealed the far-right category of the Jeopardy round (SouthAfrican Wildlife), I thought it was Jessamine speaking. (I had my head down trying to write the categories.) Jessamine sounds like a radio deejay but she is a creative writing student. And by the way, I get more and more jealous of those Clue Crew members every day!!
     Does the name "Vijay" remind you of anyone? It reminds me that I need to tell Mr. Balse and a couple other peops I'm gonna be on Jeopardy! March 28th. Yikes!
     I started poorly when I tripped on this first clue, a triple-stumper, in Time to "Rock" and "Roll": "Irish eyes are always smiling when they gaze at this small, yellow-flowered clover." I forgot the category and had been scrambling to write notes for this entry.
     This game featured multiple clues that I thought were pretty hard and would be triple-stumpers, but they were all picked up (including by me). I'm thinking especially of these:
  • In Hall of Famers: "Played on screen by Edward James Olmos, this member of the National Teachers Hall of Fame passed away in 2010." (Even Mr. Trebek seemed surprised when someone, Vijay, got this one!)
  • In You're So Receptacle: "This sooty receptacle lends its name to a realist art movement of the early 20th century."
  • In I'm Feeling Dis-Oriented: "It's weird to gain 7 hours flying to Moscow from VVO, the airport of this city in far eastern Russia."
     The contestants bounced back and forth between Get Your Verbs Moving and Hall of Famers before the first break. At that time, 4-time champ David had 2200, Vijay had 3600, and Jessamine had 1000.
     Did it seem to you like they had to stop the tape a bunch of times? Like after "Big Brother Big Sister"?
     I got this triple-stumper in South African Wildlife, an extremely long clue, isn't it?: "If a giraffe didn't have adaptations like thick-walled arteries and extra valves to counteract gravity, lowering its head to drink would cause an aneurysm, and then raising its head would cause it to faint because this vital measure is naturally so high." David said "height" and looked surprised when it was wrong. :-) The vital term was "vital"!
     The very next clue was the Daily Double of the round, in the same category. David still had 2200, Vijay had 5000, and Jessamine had 1800. Jessamine wagered 1000 on this clue, another long one. (These run-on sentences are not my own!): "Zebras spend a lot of time standing around on grassy plains, which would make them seem like easy prey, but to lions they blend in with tall stalks of grass, because lions have weak color vision due to a shortage of these retinal cells." There are two choices here, and I picked the wrong one. Jessamine picked the right one. Here's another spot where it looked like they may have stopped the tape. Jessamine's response looked like it was not the first time she gave it.
     When this category was done, Mr. Trebek gave a looonnnggg thank-you and also an announcement about a contest Jeopardy! is staging. He promised details, but somehow I missed it the first time they gave it. I think I was fast-forwarding. Here are the details, from the Jeopardy! website. I haven't looked into it yet, but you may need to be on Facebook.
     They did get to every clue in the round, which is 5 more than they got to in Double Jeopardy! David ended the round with 3800, while Vijay had 5000 and Jessamine had 3600.
     Will you accept "lily pads" in response to this first clue of the round, in Great Art?: "Several 1899 Monet works depict a Japanese bridge spanning a pond covered with these plants." I counted it as a neg after one opinion on the message boards, but I wouldn't mind hearing what you think.
     This was the dumbest clue of the day, in the same category. It was a triple-stumper, and I negged on it: "His only known assistant was his nephew Gainsborough Dupont." I said "Rembrandt," only to have that be a correct response later in the category. No one rang in on the Gainsborough one on the show, and David moved to another category after that! This is the only one I got right in the category, if "lily pads" is unacceptable: "Her 1926 painting 'Black Iris' enlarged the petals of a flower to over-lifesize proportions."
     I had never heard of "addled," "Addison," or "Gordimer."
     I was sweeping Women Authors when Vijay found the Daily Double there. He and David both had 7800, and Jessamine had 6800. He wagered 1800 on this too-easy one: "This 'Age of Innocence' author aided refugees in WWI & was made Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor."
     Can you believe there were nine clues left when Mr. Trebek gave the less-than-a-minute to go warning?! Vijay then seemed to dive for the other Daily Double.
     I got back-to-back triple-stumpers in May-December Films: "The 'story' of this film has Steve Martin romancing Sarah Jessica Parker as a California girl named SanDeE*." Then: "Seen here, she earned an Oscar nomination as the girl to whom Peter Sarsgaard gave 'an education.'"

     Even the picture was not enough for the contestants!
     Jessamine found the next Daily Double, in Bells. Tricky wagering situation: She and Vijay had 9200 and David had 11000, and we were running very short on time. What would you have done? I would think her wager of 4000 was too much, as she then could not catch David in the final if she doubled. But, Vijay still could and so it might not matter. This was the clue: "This term for a bell tower comes from the region in southern Italy that produced the metal used in some bells." This was a slam-dunk for me at "bell tower," but Jessamine didn't know it. This wound up being the last clue of the round.
     The Final Jeopardy category was Tony-Winning Musicals, something that Mr. Trebek sounded excited about! This was the clue: "These 2 back-to-back Tony winners for Best Musical (1987 & 1988) were both set in Paris." I was 3/3 on finals coming into today, but this one sank me (sunk me?). I got one but not the other. Jessamine got it right! She wagered 4001, putting her one dollar ahead of Vijay. Lucky for her, he and David both missed it. So she found a way to win today. Vijay lost 3000 and David lost 9000! Alas, this Vijay is not destined for the ToC. And I'm a little disappointed that Mr. Trebek never did ask David about being a "retail horticulturist"! Maybe we'll see David in the Tournament of Champions.
     And that's the game, just as my alarm is going off to get to babysitting. My Coryat today was 26000. Tomorrow, I'm expecting to watch the show with my mom and dad, or at least at home. So there will probably be plenty to say again. I'll also be able to catch up on recent weekend episodes, which have been featuring Roger Craig. That's enough for a "Vamos!" but if you need more: I'll be blogging about the National History Bee in Omaha Monday! Hopefully with pictures!

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