Final Jeopardy: Modern Day Suffixes

The Final Jeopardy question (2/28/2014), in the category “Modern Day Suffixes” was:

Dating from 1973, this 4-letter suffix indicates a person or thing that has become associated with public scandal.

8-day champ, Arthur Chu sailed to the No. 3 spot with $238,200 in total winnings yesterday, right behind Ken Jennings and Dave Madden. Today he takes on these two players: Dawn Volmert, from Troy, MO; and Semret Lemma, from Arlington, VA.

Arthur found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “State by Counties” under the $1,000 clue. He was in second place with $1,800, $600 less than Semret’s lead. He made it a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

Nez Pierce, Lincoln, Gem. show

Arthur finished in the lead with $7,200. Dawn was second with $3,000 and Semret was last with $2,200.

Semret found the first Daily Double in “Photography” under the $800 clue. He was in second place with $10,200, $600 less than Arthur’s lead. He bet $1,200 and guessed “snapshot,” which is one word, so that was WRONG.

In 1929, this 2-word phrase was coined for Erich Salomon’s spontaneous photo technique, later used by Allen Funt. show

Arthur found the last Daily Double in “Rip Van Winkle” under the $1,600 clue. In the lead with $11,600, he had $2,200 more than Semret in second place. He bet $8,000 and he was RIGHT.

The strange men playing 9-pins were said to be this British captain & his crew who would visit the area every 20 years. show

Arthur finished in the lead with $22,400. Semret was next with $11,400 and Dawn was in third place with $7,400.

ALL of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


OED describes the fallout from the Watergate scandal on language as “One of the most significant episodes in modern US politics” that “reshaped the language of scandal and controversy…” The OED says its first recorded example of the extended use of the suffix is from August 1972 in National Lampoon when a scandal in Russia was referred to as “Volgagate.” (OED: The “gate” suffix)

Dawn bet $4,001. She finished with $11,401.

Semret bet $10,600, finishing with $22,000.

Arthur bet $400 so he won with $22,800, while Semret no doubt kicked himself. Arthur’s 9-day total is $261,000.

First time this week that Arthur didn’t have a runaway. Another ridiculously easy FJ and still no sports category? Folks are beginning to wonder what’s up with that.

Dave Madden’s total winnings were $430,400, so Arthur still has a ways to go to reach No. 2. Next week we are returning to the Battle of the Decades, so we won’t see Arthur again until March 10th.

2 years ago: Only one player got this FJ: Scientists

In 1711 Newton led the Royal Society in London and his greatest rival led the Academy of Sciences in this capital city. show

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10 Responses

  1. Robert Decker says:

    modern? The suffix “-gate” is forty years old.

  2. Tom Clark says:

    That FJ is so easy, I’m starting to wonder.

    Part of The Great Chu’s strategy is to let the person in second place tie, because that way, the next day he comes up against only one unknown entity. He already knows he can beat the person he let tie.

    You should play to win, thus betting it all. Don’t get me started on these people who bet all but a dollar — what’s THAT all about?!

    Still not watching. I don’t care if it takes months or even years — I can’t stand the sight of the guy. My feelings are totally “Boo on Chu”!

    • vj says:

      Agree on the FJ. Disgusted with that.

      Arthur has given a different reason for why he bets to tie. Sorry can’t remember how it goes but it’s not what you said. Besides Semret was giving him a good run there for a while. Semret killed it in the Who Sang It First music category (I will put a video of that up later).

      I can’t begin to fathom what possessed Semret NOT to bet it all…

      Finally, one day Arthur will get his ass handed to him and you will miss it.

      • john blahuta says:

        tom can always record it vj, and when he reads that arthur lost, tom can relive it again and again…..

        and you know how i think about not betting it all when being second. you NEVER know when the leader might want to “reward” you and as i said in my first post, now semret can kick himself while framing a sign with 22K on it, since that is what he (not) won.

      • john blahuta says:

        of course . the question is not IF but WHEN and HOW.

      • vj says:

        Here’s what Chu says – he doesn’t bet that extra dollar to ensure victory if he’s right because if he and another player both are wrong in their responses, that dollar could cost him. In another article on Slate (where he talks with Ken Jennings) he says betting the extra dollar is a shutout bet and not the Maximum Safe Bet. If you google — arthur chu betting to tie — there’s a lot of about it.

        Apparently, Semret thought Arthur meant to be kind-hearted though. Arthur tweeted this tonight: “Fun fact: @semretlemma told me after tonight’s game “You thought you were doing me a favor by betting to tie but you ruined my life”

    • john blahuta says:

      maybe they should hand out masks for the contestants….just kidding!

  3. Marilyn Ahrenhoerster says:

    On Jan. 29 (Arthur Chu’s second game), he was in the lead and also played for the tie. Caroline Collins bet it all and they were co-champions. I wonder if Semret knew that.

  4. john blahuta says:

    how often did i advocate playing for a tie?
    you bet that semret is kicking himself 800 times while framing the 22K doing it. now that was a nice move by arthur, giving semret a chance to share the spolis, resp. make j pay twice. but semret has nobody to blame but himself.