I have good news and bad - The bad news is Thursday's Jeopardy! didn't record for me, inexplicably. I noticed at 4:52 that the DVR's red light wasn't on that indicates something's being recorded. (The show starts at 4:30.) I turned the TV on. The DVR was on and on the right channel, but there was a giant black square across the screen. I pressed every button - including "record," of course, a hundred times - but nothing changed, and I couldn't even view my recordings to see if this episode was really there. I was encouraged when the words "recording finished" appeared on the screen at 5 p.m., but nothing was saved. This is especially disappointing because I was up and about for the day before 4:30, but was taking my sweet time to start watching the show.
Anyway, the good news is this means you get to read Taylor Norwood's interview a little early. You might want to check out two of his own blog posts (one, two) about his J! experience. And as always: read the comments! My own got a bit long; sorry, Taylor!
Q: I thought "Great Britain" and "Predator" were a couple good gets.
Taylor: Thanks! I am a naval history buff and a loyal fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books, set during the Napoleonic Wars. I would have been ashamed if I had missed the Peace of Amiens question. I thought Predator was an easier one, but then again Arnold has killed so many fiends that it might have been hard to choose.
Q: I kinda wish you'd sang your response of "Cruella DeVil," like Ernest in this game. ;-) (Did you see that one?)
Taylor: It's never a good idea for me to sing.
Q: How do you choose what to read for your blog? I did see you accept suggestions.
Taylor: Some of my choices are recommendations, although I tend to be skeptical of books that too many people recommend (I secretly hate popular culture). Many of my choices are books that are connected to one of my random interests, such as Winston Churchill or Friedrich Nietzsche. I also tend to read through as much of an author's body of work as I can find before moving on to a new obsession. For that reason, I have read several books by Cormac McCarthy this year. Past obsessions have included Hemingway and Hermann Hesse. I also try to fill in gaps in my knowledge. You can bet on seeing some Charles Dickens on my blog in the near future.
Q: You touched on preparing for Jeopardy! in your interview with Mr. Trebek. Do you keep track of your Coryats?
Taylor: Not really. I did for a little while when preparing for my appearance but it didn't last. My main method of studying was flash cards. I made flash cards for all of the countries and capitals in the world, notable composers with their home countries and major works (that is how I knew Liszt), wars and their dates, famous inventors (which gave me Teller, though I wasn't able to ring in), and many more.
Q: Would you please explain your Daily Double and Final Jeopardy wagers?
Taylor: On the Daily Double, I was still mentally recovering from starting off in the red. During rehearsal I had a great deal of trouble ringing in, and was frustrated by knowing every answer in the medical category but being unable to ring in. On the $1000 clue in the medical category, I wasn't expecting to be able to ring in either and was caught off guard. Had I thought about my answer I would have said thumb, as index finger was very obviously too easy. This was very much in my mind when we got into the guitarist category. I am a big music fan and knew I would do well in that category, but was still nervous. One of the highlights of the entire game for me was the George Harrison clue. The Beatles are my favorite band and I was excited to be the one to offer that response. When I got to the Daily Double, I knew we had exhausted most of the really obvious guitarists and assumed it would be much harder. As I didn't want to return to the red, I chickened out and didn't go for the true DD. Had I known it would be such an easy clue I would certainly have tried to double up. In Final Jeopardy, I knew I had to cover Misha with a bet of at least $6401 and that I could only catch Matt if he missed it. I could have played it safer and gone with a wager of less than $10,200 in case of the triple-stumper but the thought of missing it never entered my head. I went in with the assumption that I would know the answer and might as well go big. I decided to wager all but $10 just to be a little bit different than everybody who wagers all but $1.
Q: Anything else you want to say?
Taylor: I have seen a few posts on message boards about my strategy at the very end of the game and wanted to explain. First of all, I absolutely, 100%, without hesitation knew the Daily Double that Matt missed, again thanks to O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books. I wish I had picked the $2000 clue but it just didn't work out that way. A few people have blamed me for not hunting the DD. With two clues left, you can't do much hunting. I had no idea on the $1600 clue but knew I had to try in order to get the DD. I have only read one Dickens books (A Tale of Two Cities), and went with the only Dickens title child I could recall. I had forgotten that Oliver Twist was a category but likely would have missed the clue by guessing Nicholas Nickleby even had I remembered. It is frustrating to know that I could have won had I picked the $2000 clue or had I not tried to answer the $1600, but to quote one of my favorite movies, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.
Thank you, Taylor!
Recaps and commentary on Jeopardy! episodes, from two devoted fans. Jeanie was on Jeopardy! March 28, 2012!