Final Jeopardy: Familiar Phrases

Today’s Final Jeopardy question (4/6/2017) in the category “Familiar Phrases” was:

Old circuses like “Gentry’s Equine & Canine Paradox” gave rise to this idiom referring to any elaborate presentation.

New champ Nora Rowaily won $23,600 yesterday. In her second game, her opponents are: Maresha Mead, from Alexandria, VA; and David Gatewood, from Knoxville, TN.

Round 1 Categories: Rhymes With a Beatle’s First Name – An Eco-Category – Puerto Rican History – Jessica – In the King James Bible – Hit the Gym

Nora found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “An Eco-Category” under the $1,000 clue with 7 clues left after it. She was in second place with $2,800, $3,000 less than Maresha’s lead. She made it a true Daily Double and she was RIGHT.

From the Greek & Latin for “life” & “turning”, this word refers to the healthy mix of wildlife in a region. show

Nora finished in the lead with $7,600. Maresha was second with $5,800 and David was last with $3,400.

Round 2 Categories: Maritime Flags of Convenience – Awards & Honors – “E”asy Does It – Vaudeville – A Liberal Library – Comma Sympathizers

David found the first Daily Double in “Awards & Honors” under the $1,200 clue on the 12th pick. He was in the lead with $11,000 at this point, $600 more than Nora in second place. He bet $3,000 and thought it was the lotus. That was WRONG.

Japan’s highest order is the order of this flower. show

Nora found the last Daily Double in “Liberal Library” under the $1,600 clue, with 11 clues still to go after it. In second place with $9,200, she had $400 less than David’s lead. She bet $3,000 and she was RIGHT.

“Wait! Don’t Move To” this country is the title of a book about liberal ideas “to Win Back America” show

Nora finished in the lead with $12,200. David was next with $11,600 and Maresha was in third place with $10,200.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


World Wide Words looks into the evolution of the phrase from an actual event that can be tracked back to the 1880s: “The most famous was that run by “Professor” Gentry (actually four brothers), but many others existed, including those of Sipe & Dolman, the Harper Brothers, Stull & Miller, and the Norris Brothers. They were in truth small circuses… with no more than a band and a ringmaster in addition to the animal acts, which did consist only of dogs and ponies.” The phrase, they say, was still in use in that sense in the 1950s to describe circus sideshows where children were allowed to pet the animals. It wasn’t until the 1960s that “the term began to appear in print as a metaphor for some event that was more pizzazz than substance, like the tinsel and glitter of a circus ring.”

Maresha got it right. Her $10,198 bet brought her up to $20,398.

David also got it right after crossing out “horse” in favor of “dog.” He added $10,000, finishing with $21,600.

Nora had “horse and pony show.” Leaving it that way cost her $11,001 and she had $1,199 left. So David won and he is the new Jeopardy! champ.

Final Jeopardy (4/6/2017) Nora Rowaily, David Gatewood, Maresha Mead

Two $2,000 triple stumpers:

MARITIME FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE: The relative calm in this West African country after the fall of Charles Taylor has made it a popular F.O.C. nation once more

A LIBERAL LIBRARY: “The History of a Dangerous Idea” is the subtitle of a study of this policy of severely reducing govt. spending

2 years ago: TWO of the players got this FJ in “Reference Works”

Now in its fourth edition, the book with this title first appeared in 1918 as a 43-page guide for Cornell English students. show

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12 Responses

  1. Pong2 says:

    I seem to remember this expression being used back in the 50’s after I left High School. [Maybe in reference to the McCarthy Hearings.] I am sure the term Horse and Pony show began to be used by people who didn’t truly understand the expression when they first heard it. I got the answer immediately.

    • VJ says:

      There’s an article online where Joey Buttafuoco used “horse-and-pony show” to describe how his first lawyer got him indicted! (LINK)

  2. Kaye says:

    WTF!!?? How could anyone miss this. It didnt take me long to get it.

    • VJ says:

      As it turns out, in some parts of the country, it is known as a horse and pony show

      So perhaps, if that’s the name you know it by, you might assume the canine part was thrown in there to confuse you.

      • Kaye says:

        I guess. Dog and pony is how I have always known it.

        • VJ says:

          @Kaye, Me too, I’ve only ever heard “dog and pony.” Pong2’s comment makes a lot of sense on how the “horse and pony” version might have started.

          @Pong2, Thanks for that insight

  3. Lee says:

    heartbreaker For Nora

  4. Dalton Higbee says:

    Tomorrow is Friday and why do they do tough clues for the leader on Fridays this season?

  5. VJ says:

    My goodness! I truly loved that Vaudeville category today. They didn’t have many stumpers in this match and I’m gonna put all the clues up for it later.

    • VJ says:

      The clues are up. I put in Vaudeville and The Beatles’ rhyme category, too. Just have to say that $400 clue in Beatles reminded me of a lady that lived across the street many moons ago. She had an accent and pronounced a family member’s name to rhyme with the response on that clue, and he hated that! For that clue, I would have went with something like “A royal Rita Hayworth husband: Aly ____”

      LINK: 12 clues from this match

      • rhonda says:

        I agree with you, VJ, the $400 Beatles clue was awful.

        • VJ says:

          It was! They got ’em with that $1,000, Phoeniconaias minor clue. From the expression on his face, Alex clearly enjoyed delivering the response. Too funny!