Final Jeopardy: American Authors

The Final Jeopardy question (11/9/2015) in the category “American Authors” was:

He was the first to have both fiction and nonfiction number one New York Times Best Sellers; the latter featured his beloved poodle.

It’s here! The 2015 Tournament of Champions begins today. First to compete are 5x champ Dan Feitel, 5x champ Vaughn Winchell, and 4x champ Catherine Hardee.

Round 1: Catherine found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Mr. Smith Goes to… ” under the $800 clue. She was in third place with $2,000, $3,600 less than Vaughn’s lead. She made it a true Daily Double but could only come up with “the invisible hand”. That was WRONG, although it showed she knew who it was.

Mr. Smith goes to the University of Glasgow in 1737; in 1776 he publishes this. show

Vaughn finished in the lead with $8,000. Dan was second with $3,400 and Catherine was last with $1,000.

Round 2: Catherine found the first Daily Double in “The Silent Letter In…” under the $1,200 clue. She was still in third place but now had $4,600, $3,400 less than Vaughn’s lead. She bet $2,400 and this time, she was RIGHT.

a 4-letter word for mausoleum. show

Catherine found the last Daily Double in “Self-Portrait by the Artist” under the $1,200 clue. In second place with $8,200, she had $8,600 less than Vaughn’s lead. She bet $2,000 and she was RIGHT.

Here is a rare self-portrait
of this artist who made
quite an impression.


Catherine finished in the lead with $17,800. Vaughn was next with $17,200 and Dan was in third place with $7,800.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden” was No. 1 on the NY Times fiction bestsellers in November 1952. “Travels with Charley” is Steinbeck’s “non-fictional” account of his 1960 trip across the country with Charley the poodle. It was No. 1 on the non-fiction bestsellers in October 1962.

In a 2012 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, journalist Bill Steigerwald recounts how he exposed “Travels with Charley” in all its fictional glory: “… after half a century of masquerading as a work of nonfiction, and after almost 1.5 million copies sold, John Steinbeck’s iconic road book “Travels With Charley” has quietly come clean with its readers.” Steinbeck biographer Jay Parini acknowledged in the book’s foreword that Steigerwald was right, although he failed to include Steigerwald’s name!

Dan got it right. He bet $6,200 and finished with $14,000.

Vaughn wrote down “who knows?” (um… Dan!) He only bet $601 so he finished with $16,599.

Catherine thought it was Capote. That only cost her $200, so she won the first semi-final spot with $17,600. With those second and third place scores, we will surely be starting the Wild Card list tomorrow.

During the chat, Alex caught up with what the players have been doing. Catherine and her father bought a property in the county she was born in. He bought the house and she bought the huge oak tree; Vaughn joined a pub trivia team consisting of former game show winners. They win a lot; Dan bought an engagement ring for his sweetheart. Here is the post-game chat:

2 years ago:: ALL of the players got this FJ in “2013 Newsmakers”

The name of this woman who achieved a long-held goal in 2013 is a homophone of a word for a water nymph. show

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. aaaa says:

    46/61 here. Good wagering by Vaughn and Catherine. I think Travels with Charley was the subject of a third tier Millionaire question a few years ago.

  2. Eric S says:

    I can see Catherine’s confusion with Capote’s In Cold Bloodhound. Just kidding, congrats Catherine.