Final Jeopardy: Nobel Laureates

The Final Jeopardy question (3/10/2015), in the category “Nobel Laureates” was:

He was the subject of a 2014 New York Times article headlined “A Pioneer as Elusive as his Particle”.

New champ Jen Jabailey Blackburn won $19,700 yesterday. Today she takes on these two players: Mikki Gibson, from Austin, TX; and Penny Reid, from Bloomington, IN.

Round 1: Penny found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “On the Nose” under the $1,000 clue. She was in the lead with $3,800, $1,600 more than Mikki in second place. She bet $2,000 and he was RIGHT.

This creature seen here has quite the nose. show

Reversed: Alex accepted Jen’s answer “Perce Nez” (instead of Nez Perce) on this $200 clue in “On the Nose” but it was reversed by the judges right before the Daily Double: Though piercing wasn’t common among them, the name of this native American tribe means “pierced nose.”

Penny finished in the lead with $6,600. Mikki was second with $1,600 and Jen was last with $1,400.

Round 2: Mikki found the first Daily Double in “Fiction” under the $1,600 clue. She was in third place with $2,000, $8,200 less than Penny’s lead. She made it a true Daily Double and she was RIGHT.

The novel that inspired “Field of Dreams” grew out of the story “Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to” this place. show

Penny found the last Daily Double in “We ‘CU'” under the $2,000 clue. In the lead with $12,600, she had $8,200 more than Mikki in second place. She bet $4,000 and she was RIGHT.

From the Latin, it means pertaining to the skin. show

Penny finished in the lead with $26,200, a super runaway. Jen was next with $6,200 and Mikki was in third place with $5,200.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“Science awards are generally not crafted in a way that invites the public to care. A certain percentage of people may know that Peter Higgs and Francois Englert won the 2013 Nobel prize in physics for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson, but even among those people only a small percentage have any idea what the Higgs boson is or why they should care.” (Today’s Scientists Need an Awards Show as Big as the Oscars)

Here is a link to the 9/15/2014 New York Times article the clue refers to, telling how Peter Higgs found out about his nomination. This article, Surprise Announcement, looks into the controversy surrounding who should have gotten credit for the discovery.

Mikki got it right. She bet $5,198 and finished with $10,398.

Jen got it right, too. Her $4,201 bet brought her up to $10,401.

Penny wrote down Biggs. She lost her $3,800 bet but still won the game with the remaining $22,400.

FJ-Results: 3-10-15

Penny is a newspaper copy editor. During the chat she talked about a camping experience where she and her family were off learning how to protect their campsite from bears. While they were there, the bears were busy ransacking their campsite.

According to Alex, Penny “crossed the top of the ‘H’ and the bottom, instead of Higgs, put in Biggs. It’s a common error. I do it all the time myself.” Penny thought it was pretty funny since she clearly wrote a B.


2 years ago:: Only ONE of the players got this FJ in “Newspapers”

The circulation of the Times of New York & London totals about 1/2 the “Times of” this place, largest of any English daily. show

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9 Responses

  1. jacob ska says:

    I think some of you are over complicating the importance of the way the name of Higgs has crept into pop culture. The Big Bang Theory TV Show is the top show in the tv ratings and Higgs Boson Particle has frequently been mentioned in several episodes years before he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Also when the tv show Numb3rs aired a few years ago the name of Higgs was frequently used in that show.

    His name was very popular on many tv shows years before the NYT article in 2014 so not that difficult imo for the contestants although I haven’t seen the show yet. Just reading vj’s recap and your comments.

    Still suffering from jet lag. Never tell anyone you’re retired they think you have all of the time in the world to travel to CA then to Tokyo and back to the states in 2 weeks. I’m exhausted. Must admit I didn’t miss Jeopardy like I thought I would. Some friends said they recorded the shows for me.

    Tomorrow should be interesting. I understand Kristin Sausville, wife of 7x champ Justin Sausville, might be on the show. I’m going to read her tweets to see what she has to say tomorrow. Right now I’m going to get some much needed sleep. Chat with you tomorrow.

  2. john blahuta says:

    congratulations, although i think j will trip her up after 2 wins at the most.

    i don’t get some players. easy clues like jfk (0), e street ((1), james bond (1) and then TWO get an english nobel prize winner in physics? good for them, but something seems to be out of sync here, nobody knows when the current president was born (o.’s birth certificate was in the news just a million times) > to when jfk was in office, (but 2 know who won the nobel in physics 2 years ago? seems a little unusual/strange to me.

    • rhonda says:

      I agree, very strange, what are the chances of that? Almost makes me suspect that they were coached. Even the lady that got it wrong was ever so close to the correct answer!

      • john blahuta says:

        yes, by just one letter – H instead of B- we missed a clean sweep. and vj is right. this IS clearly a B from the beginning, not an altered H.

  3. William Weyser says:

    Penny, my reaction to you having $26,200 going into Final Jeopardy! was “Wow Penny, you’re definitely winning this game, very strong performance, you led throughout the game, nice work, Penny!

  4. VJ says:

    Penny played a great game. I hope she sticks around a long time, maybe a couple of weeks.

    • Cece says:

      So so close to a triple solve. I think this triple solve thing is jinxed. Yes, Penny was great. I don’t remember Alex in recent history using the word “superb” to describe a contestant’s performance

      And I can’t believe Alex’s comment on Mikki’s story on getting pregnant, lol!