Final Jeopardy: Shakespeare

The Final Jeopardy question (2/6/2015), in the category “Shakespeare” was:

After England, more Shakespeare plays are set in this present-day country than in any other.

The last quarter-final match of the 2015 Teachers’ Tournament has arrived. The teachers competing today are: Jay Singleton, from Waynesboro, Virginia; Kate La Riviere-Gagner, from Starksboro, VT; and Adam Elkana-Hale, from St. Louis, MO.

Round 1: Kate found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Bad Poetry About Poets” under the $1,000 clue. She was in second place with $3,400, $1,600 less than Adam’s lead. She bet $1,600 and thought it was Shakespeare. That was WRONG.

My big number is 600 / Somehow I rhymed it with “blunder’d” / as a rhyme not very cool / but they teach my stuff in school. show

Adam finished in the lead with $6,400. Kate was second with $2,800 and Jay was last with $1,800.

Round 2: Adam found the first Daily Double in “The Middle Ages” under the $1,600 clue. He was in the lead with $7,600, $4,600 ahead of Jay in second place. He bet $3,000 and he was RIGHT.

In the craft guilds of the Middle Ages, these craftsmen came between masters & apprentices. show

Kate found the last Daily Double in “Official State Symbols” under the $2,000 clue. In third place with $5,600, she had $10,600 less than Adam’s lead. She bet $1,400 and guessed the Suwannee. That was WRONG.

Indiana’s official state river, it’s also in the title of the state song. show

Adam finished in the lead with $17,000. Kate was next with $9,000 and Jay was in third place with $8,600.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“Shakespeare could have written The Merchant of Ventnor and Two Gentlemen of Virginia Water. He might have chosen to set The Taming of the Shrew in Chipping Campden and Much Ado About Nothing in Penzance. Instead, he gave these and eight of his other plays an Italian background. Why did the country so fascinate him? … According to Francesco [Da Mosto], ‘Shakespeare has two Italys. One is related to the country of his own time and its cities such as Venice, Padua and Verona; the other is Ancient Rome, which allowed him– through plays like Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus– to describe the political situation in England without getting into trouble with the authorities there. That is his great game, to write about things which would have got him put in prison if he had approached them directly.'” Shakespeare in Italy

Also, here is a map of Shakespearean locales (plays with multiple settings appear more than once)

Jay wrote down Italy, then crossed it out. Forgetting the clue’s beginning, he began to write down England but ran out of time. That cost him everything because he bet it all. Ouch!

Kate got it right. She doubled her score to $18,000.

Adam also got it and bet $1,001, bringing him up to a dollar more than Kate and making him the winner of the last semi-final spot.

FJ Results: 2-6-15

Here are the the semi-finalists and Wild Cards competing next week:

$21,200 – Colin O’Grady
$18,800 – Jennifer Giles
$18,001 – Adam Elkana-Hale
$17,800 – Eric Hack
$13,400 – Lydia Cuffman
Wild Cards
$18,000 – Kate La Riviere-Gagner
$12,600 – Erin McLaughlin
$9,000 – Mary Bayer
$4,600 – Cathy Farrell

2 years ago:: TWO of the players got this FJ in “American Literature”

In the first chapter of this 1939 novel, “When the night came again, it was black night, for the stars could not pierce the dust.” show

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28 Responses

  1. Carson Guy Sowers says:

    I ran the “Official State Symbols” category!

  2. jacob ska says:

    @Tom & John,

    Enjoyed our spirited debate last evening. Through our differences we have much in common. We are more alike than different.
    1) We have been watching Jeopardy since the days of Art Fleming.
    2) We are passionate about the show.
    3) We have observed changes over the years on the show and among the contestants although our reactions to those changes vary. After all, variety is
    the spice of life.
    4) We have a deep appreciation for knowledge.
    5) We have a deep appreciation to vj for giving us
    this forum to vent our opinions. Don’t know how she tolerates us. :D

    Can’t wait to see what next week brings on the show.

  3. jacob ska says:

    @Tom, we are having a conversation and I respectfully disagree. As you have seen from my postings I have taught at the post-secondary level for many decades and am now retired. I have taught in Asia and in Europe. I have actually seen students in other countries commit suicide because of the pressure placed on them to perform academically.
    That is not what we want in America.

    Based upon the living conditions in other countries I could not wait to get back to America. I found that the university students here were quite bright. They are creative and innovative.

    I’m tired of hearing about how America is subpar. Never bet against America. You will lose every time. How is it that we are number 1 in oil production in the world and outranking Saudi Arabia? Where did the smarts come from to improve fracking through better technology? Did this intellect just drop out of the sky or was it a result of education training and how to improve technology?

    How is it that America is #1 in smartphones? What happened to Nokia headquartered in Finland that a few years ago had a huge market in cell phones or BlackBerry headquartered in Canada? Samsung out of South Korea is now fighting for its life in smartphones.

    Why do young people come from other countries to attend our universities? Most take what they have learned here back to their countries to try to compete against us. There must be something about our education system that attracts.

    Here’s what I’m observing. There is a paradigm shift in education in the United States. Rote memory is out and creative thinking is in. Our generation focused on memorization. This generation focuses on thinking outside the box.

    America has more billionaires and more college educated people then any other country on the globe. Explain that!

    According to the NCES there are 3.3 million teachers in America and you want to extrapolate .0003% of that total that appeared on a game show and judge the rest, or the small number you worked with, to judge the whole? There is something wrong with your statistics my friend!

    Be judgmental if you wish but the facts do not support your position.

    • Tom Clark says:

      I’m talking about public school educators, grades 1 through 12.

      You’re talking mainly about colleges and universities and the tiny percentage of humanity that has given us our amazing science knowledge and technology.

      From my experience, going back over forty years now, the average public school teacher in the USA isn’t particularly intelligent and isn’t doing a good job educating children.

      A few weeks ago I heard a woman in her 20s, when the Civil War was mentioned, say she thought she heard of it but wasn’t sure what it was. That’s just an example of the kind of thing I hear very frequently. Yet she has a high school diploma.

      About twenty years ago I had a high school English teacher admit to me that he only went into education in order to have a job that gave him the summers off, and he thought that was true of most of the teachers he knew.

      It’s true I tend to be cynical, but I’ve found that cynicism is too often the correct view of things.

      It’s difficult to accept the reality of things in this world. When I read what the great thinkers and intellectuals of history thought, the vast, overwhelming majority of them thought mankind was pretty horrible.

      In certain fields, such as writing or acting, most people who try to make a mark fail miserably. I think most doctors are incompetent. I know almost every politician is practically worthless. Why would it be shocking or even surprising that most teachers aren’t good? It’s just the way things are.

  4. jacob ska says:

    What I enjoyed about the teachers this week was their personalities. I particularly enjoyed Kate tonight explaining to Alex at the beginning of the show the meaning of her fist bump gesture she learned from her students.

    I got the impression that these teachers really enjoy what they do and it’s not necessarily about the paycheck. The light humor and vibrancy they demonstrated shows that they make learning fun for their students.

    I truly thank them for having the talent and patience to do what they do in shaping young people. It really requires a special skill to work with youth and meet them halfway and I am not ashamed to admit I don’t have it.

    Btw, Jeopardy is NOT a measure of intellect. It is a game show centered around trivia and fun. I would hesitate to judge anyone based on observing them for less than 30 minutes on tv and even more w/o having a one-on-one conversation with them.

    Sorry to be so candid but people have feelings and read comments posted online about them. Just saying!

    Attack my comments here if you wish. I’m a pretty tough guy and can take it. By now you know I can give as good as I get.

    • Tom Clark says:

      I disagree with you 100%. I’ve known so many teachers who were godawful people. I could tell some horror stories here, but I’m not up to it right now.

      Yes, they shape our young people — but into what? I’ve seen such a decline in education in my lifetime that I don’t see how anyone can defend teachers these days.

      And among other things, Jeopardy IS a measure of intellect. When a clue says, “After England …” and you think “What is England?” might be the correct answer, you’ve demonstrated either that you were so nervous your brain froze, or that you don’t possess a world-class intellect.

      As for peoples’ feelings when they read stuff about them online — if they’re that sensitive, they need to stay out of the public eye. I’ve heard time and again that celebrities say the first thing you need to develop if you want to be in that eye is a tough skin.

      If they go on Jeopardy and do really well, they’ll love reading about themselves on the Internet. Well, if they screw up, they’ll have to read about that, too. That’s the risk they take.

      And I don’t consider this an “attack” at all — we’re having a debate, or as the word is these days, a “conversation.”

      • VJ says:

        But you must also have known some great teachers, too. Like most, I have had some really great teachers and some real pills. Same for my kids, but my oldest two had less pills than I did, and my youngest had less pills than the older two.

        I don’t see 30 minutes of jeopardy as a testament to anyone’s intellect, a barometer of the state of education or the entire country, but I also don’t see anything wrong with laughing at a dumb answer. I’ve laughed at a lot of dumb things I’ve said myself and, believe me, I’ve said a lot of dumb things.

        No one knows everything and we’ve seen all kinds of crazy stuff over the years on Jeopardy! because of that. This same thing happened last November (11-4-14) in regular play — a player crossed out the right answer to put in one with part of the clue. Not too long ago, we saw that game where it sure looked like Will wasn’t even in contention and he ended up winning the game with $3K something. LOL!

        Jay must have repeated the clue to himself incorrectly without looking at it after he wrote down Italy and then second guessed himself. But for me, that sort of pales in comparison to all 3 of them having an asterisk staring them in the face and not knowing what it is! (My weekly recap will go up in a little while and that part is in there)

    • john blahuta says:

      @ Jacob & Tom

      to briefly join in, i got the impression over the last 2 decades– and found that confirmed at j this week– that our teachers are at a lower level than they could be.
      imagine if we spent more on education, attract more competent teachers….??
      a teacher who teaches ALL subjects for FIFTH grade?? i don’t think that this is giving the students even a fraction of what they could learn. i see the danger that we become too complacent, even presumptuous and arrogant and in 10 years we will be left in the dust by countries like china.

      and one indication that i see time and again is that when a contestant appears (adult,college, kids) who is obviously first or second generation american s/he usually performs best, knowing s/he has to learn as hard as possible and does so.
      maybe we are taking things too much for granted, at least part of the time. you know the saying: pride goes before a fall. just because we are doing great now does not mean we should relax. the world gets smaller and smaller and the competition tougher and tougher.

      • VJ says:

        Do you realize that the 5th grade teacher that blew your mind is one of the Wild Card winners? She said the school she teaches at is really small, about 300 students in the whole school. Here’s a link to her school where they talked about her victory.

        In many public schools they have one teacher for the main subjects, a gym teacher and other teachers for electives.

        You could write your Congressman and tell him. The games should be on youtube by then and you can send him links to your proof.

        • john blahuta says:

          that’s exactly what i mean. a class full of fifth graders DESERVES more than a teacher who can tell them a little about everything. and the same teacher DESERVES better to spread herself thin instead of concentrating on whatever she is best in and likes most, giving as much as possible to her students.

          i can only repeat that we should spend a lot more on education (and that starts with teachers). this neglect may and will come to haunt future generations. we are slowly becoming an inverted pyramid with just a small point as a base, unless we and our government comprehend how fast an empire is lost, how soon you can be overtaken if you don’t have a solid base to build on.

          if one is not careful then the first step after success is towards failure. there are more than enough examples in history….the biggest and mightiest empire of them all, the romans, who practically ruled all of the then known world….gone in heartbeat (in historical terms). today it would be much faster. global economy is in many parts just a house of cards and not everything can be solved by being the strongest military power. as it stands at the moment i don’t envy anyone who is ten years old or younger unless things change considerably and fast. we may laugh at blunders because they are committed by teachers on national tv. it is a rather sad sign of the times we are in. our generation was and still is the luckiest since wwII. but when you were younger than 30 or 35 in 1990 you were liable to find yourself somewhere in the desert. vietnam was child’s play what may come, faster than we anticipate.
          since this is the weekend break i hope you don’t mind my lengthy response.but we need to be PREPARED for any eventuality. yet we are headed the opposite way…..

          the consequences are not yet really tangible, but they are beginning to show , a little here, a little there. once it goes beyond a certain point: how do you stop an avalanche?

        • VJ says:

          Gosh, John, the idea of your writing to your congressman and telling him about this calamity of one person teaching all subjects in a 5th grade class and providing him with the proof of the Jeopardy game you saw it on really struck me funny, but I guess you didn’t get that.

          And I guess you didn’t look at her school site either where they seem to be doing just fine.

          I guess what you want is for someone to say you are right and maybe you are. I don’t know. I went through 6 years of elementary school (I skipped 2 grades) with one teacher for each grade myself and I don’t feel educationally deprived.

  5. Tom Clark says:

    Those Who Can, Do: Part 3.

    “Other than red, name a color.”


    So he crosses out the correct answer and tries to replace it with the only answer in the world that we KNOW can’t be correct — and blows his Wild Card place, which he otherwise would have had.

    And while I’m ranting, why do people like Kate make such a big show out of pushing the damn buzzer? Does she have to shake it like a bottle of milk of magnesia? Is it to say, “Hey, look at me, I know this, I’m ringing in!”?

    “Other than oak, name a tree.”


  6. john blahuta says:

    finally tonight:
    after a taxing and demanding week to watch i wish everybody A GREAT WEEKEND!!!

    (maybe i’ll talk to you next week, should i recover enough in the next 2 days to endure next week’s semis and the FINAL. can’t come soon enough!!)

  7. VJ says:

    I loved that “Bad Poetry about Poets” category. Here are the other 4 clues. My particular favorite was the $600 one.

    $200 – In 1890 she was 4 years dead / & her 1st book of poems was read / it was a big hit & such / for a lady who did not get out much

    $400 – His “Ode to Psyche” / had some mad beats / but his love life, oh crikey! / life was rough for…

    $600 – I wrote “Kubla Khan” / to give you the word / & did more stuff / than just about that darned bird!

    $800 – Nursing in the Civil War / was unlike what I did before / I wrote of “My Captain” Lincoln / O the tears back I was blinkin’

  8. jacob ska says:

    @CeCe, Chris could have been a wild card. You were so correct. Excellent call. Bet he wish he had wagered zero yesterday.

    You’ll be in Keith Williams’ Final Wager video next. :)

    Next week should be interesting everyone!

    @John, 3/15 fj = 20% for the week.

    • jacob ska says:

      Or is it 4/15 fj = 26.7%?

      Either way it’s less than last week on fj. :-[

      • john blahuta says:

        well, at least 2. jay had it already. even with his blunder he would be in the semis, since he had 4K more than cathy. she got in by the skin of her teeth. had jay just bet nothing or up to 3.999, HE would be in the semis.

        as predicted, before fj all contestants had enough money (“bolstered” was the word i used)to get into the semis.

        jay must have had a “double” brain freeze.

        and you are right with the 4/15. there were 4 right answers overall out of 15. even though kate lost by a buck she clinched the top wc spot.

    • john blahuta says:

      actually 4/15. we had 2 correct answers today, overall 4 for the week (kate did not win, but is in as a wc) so jacob is right with his 26 2/3 % ratio. still worse than last week…

    • john blahuta says:

      depends how you look at it:
      mon: colin got RR right 1
      tue: strikeout
      wed: strikeout
      thu: jennifer, world h., 1
      fri: adam (win)& kate (WC) got italy 2

      so a total 3/5 for the winners, if you want to “embellish” the numbers (60 %!!!)
      but 4/15 in correct answers for fj total, = jacob’s 26.7%or 26 2/3% .
      either way, not exactly j’s finest week i would say.
      and correction on jay’s “double” brain freeze after reading tom’s post (and he was very lenient): it was more like a “final” brain freeze.i wonder if he’s putting in for a transfer to a different school. how do you face your students after that…..i can’t find a word strong enough. at least not in english. :):)

      • VJ says:

        does the fact that only 14 players actually participated in FJ this week affect your calculations?

        • john blahuta says:

          yes, it would actually make it even worse since tracy did not even make it to fj…:)
          mathematically it would be 4/14=28.57% but i would make it 4/16 =25%, penalizing fj for not coming up with 15 participants. maybe i will watch next week after all, and if it’s just for entertainment and having a good laugh.
          jay not only blew it. he reminds me in retrospect of WILE E. COYOTE. has everything set up perfectly and then: KABOOM! blows himself to smithereens and kingdom come!! un-be-liev-a-ble !!

        • VJ says:

          Well the upside is he will never ask a student — how can you make a dumb mistake like that

    • Cece says:

      Jacob, I Just finished watching the game. Yeah, looks like Chris blew it. BTW, I replied to your comment under “Lists”. Thanks, again.