Final Jeopardy: British Authors

The Final Jeopardy question (6/27/2014), in the category “British Authors” was:

The Pharmaceutical Journal praised her 1920 first novel, saying it dealt “with poisons in a knowledgeable way.”

3x champ Jennifer Blanton has won $57,000 so far. In the last game of the week, she is up against these two players: Sunil Hari, originally from West Chester, OH; and Jill Rowley, from Baltimore, MD.

Round 1: Sunil found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “On the Corporate Webpage” under the $800 clue. He was in the lead with $4,800, $1,800 ahead of Jill in second place. He bet $3,000 and took a shot with Prudential. That was WRONG.

Bank of America’s website offers investment options with this subsidiary whose logo is a bull. show

Sunil finished in the lead with $6,200. Jill was second with $2,400 and Jennifer was last with $2,200.

Round 2: Sunil found the first Daily Double in “Dual Biographies” under the $2,000 clue. In the lead with $7,800, he had $1,200 more than Jennifer in second place. He bet $1,200 but was only able to come up with one of the names so he was WRONG.

Sharing part of their names, these 2 sons of slaves, one a scientist & one an educator, are the subject of “Unshakable Faith”. show

Jill found the last Daily Double in “It’s an Experiment” under the $1,200 clue. She was in a second place tie with Sunil. They both had $6,200, $400 less than Jennifer’s lead. She bet $1,000 and she was RIGHT.

In the 1940s John Draize did eye irritancy tests on these cute animals; we don’t like scientists to do that anymore.  show

Sunil finished in the lead with $9,800. Jill was next with $7,200 and Jennifer was in third place with $6,600.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


Dame Agatha Christie’s favorite review of her first book, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, was from the Pharmaceutical Journal which praised her work “for dealing with poisons in a knowledgeable way, and not with the nonsense about untraceable substances that so often happens. Miss Agatha Christie knows her job.” How did she come by her knowledge of poisons? In April of 1917, Christie qualified as a dispenser. (75 Facts about Christie)

Jennifer thought it was Virginia Woolf. She lost her $3,201 bet and finished with $3,399. Woolf’s first novel was published in the UK in 1915 and in the USA in 1920 and it did have someone die of (an unnamed) poison in it, so it wasn’t too bad of a guess (although Woolf probably winced at the review Christie loved).

Jill got it right. Her $5,001 bet brought her up to $12,201.

Sunil came up with American poet, Sylvia Plath (born in 1932). He lost $1,000 so he ended up with $8,800.

So Jill Rowley, a flight attendant, is our new champ. Jill is the first contestant that Trebek has come across who has “zorbed,” a way to roll down a hill without getting your clothes dirty.

The big lesson in today’s game is NOT don’t ring in and then try to guess the answer. No, no, no! You should already know that’s a very iffy way to go. The big one is anything you say to Trebek may very well end up making you feel very foolish on national TV.

Near the end of the first round, after Jennifer screwed up trying to figure out a clue, Trebek said she’d gotten “herself caught today. It worked yesterday. You’d ring in and you didn’t know the correct response and you finally managed to get it in in time.” Before the second round began, he brought it up again, elaborating that Jennifer told him she didn’t know the answers on some clues she buzzed in on yesterday and then pointed out that it wasn’t working today. Way to rub it in, Alex!

2 years ago:: NONE of the players got this FJ in “Nobel Prize Winners”

Among the many books he wrote were “The World Crisis”, “The Second World War” & “Painting As A Pastime”. show

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52 Responses

  1. rob rodic says:

    Ok Jill: so how do you actually zorb??? I like yr dimples btw ;) add my fb, rob rodic

  2. Arnie says:

    Is Jill married? She’s awfully cute. And smart.

    • eric s says:

      You know, sometimes players come back to check on the comments of their game and leave comments themselves.
      Anything that you want to tell her about yourself, Arnie?

    • Mike says:

      She looks and sounds extremely nervous, I can relate. She’s very charming, though.

  3. john blahuta says:

    i am really giving up to figure out some wagers. 1K, Sunil?? Jill 1K short yet still winning?? unbelievable.

  4. eric s says:

    Nomi: in case she forgets, VJ wants to know if you speak French?
    I, however, want to know if you pronounce Nomi as nom-eye or nomee? I must know this because, as one uses @ as “to”, if I were to write @Nomi and the latter was the case, I don’t think I could resist calling you, “is to love me”. As in, of course, “to know me, is to love me”. Ha, ha…ha, ha, ha. May be just: itlm, so it’s a little funny, not weird.

  5. jacobska says:

    I want to discuss strategy on Jeopardy. Jennifer like Roger Craig buzzed in first then hoped to come up with a correct response. Do contestants not realize that this strategy gives their opponents time to think about a correct response? Apparently it never occurs to them that they might be wrong. In my opinion that is the height of inadequacy when playing on Jeopardy.

    As vj pointed out in her recap Alex Trebek warned Jennifer about this strategy. But she continued down that path anyway and it cost her the game.

    • vj says:

      This is exactly what I was thinking watching that game — while she’s dragging out the what is…… and trying to think at the same time, Sunil is laughing up his sleeve.

      • eric s says:

        Well, actually, she didn’t need the “what is” then. There is an advantage if the answer is on the tip of your tongue: none if you’re clueless.
        And, she lost the game for different reasons than that, but I do wish that they had a better timer for us to see and announced rules. It seems capricious at times.

  6. eric s says:

    Jacob, did you throw something at the screen when the idea of the Prudential bull was forwarded?

    • jacobska says:

      No. I did wonder how he missed all of those commercials on television with the bull in them for Merrill Lynch. I ran the “Corporate Webpage” category though. Yum! Brands own KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Had no clue on fj as I stated on CotD.

      I love nonfiction. My library is full of business books, biographies and autobiographies. I did read “The Godfather” after seeing the movie over and over. That’s my claim to fame in reading novels. Seriously, I have seen “Murder on the Orient Express” many times but never had the desire to read the book. If a novel was not required reading in school, college, or grad school I didn’t read it. Even then I tucked it away in my “forget about it” memory bank after each semester.

      • eric s says:

        Even Vonnegut? Dude, you have to read Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House (a collection of short stories: they all have merit, but get it and I’ll guide you).

        • vj says:

          PS – now aside from my great love of poetry, one thing I did one year to fill in some of the gaps in my literary knowledge was look at the kirjasto authors calendar every day and read the bio of authors I was not acquainted with. It goes by birthdays. They did a great job with that site. It was there before wikipedia.

          Today is the birthday of Dame Catherine Cookson and Helen Keller. They were more or less contemporaries of Christie’s. Keller was about 10 years older than Christie, who was about 10 years older than Cookson.

      • vj says:

        I read a lot of books when I was younger. I read Godfather before I saw the movie. At that time, my mother was always giving me books to read. I’ve always loved biographies and some of them she gave me were Edith Piaf and Vivien Leigh. But my mom mainly read escapist stuff, gothic romance, potboilers like Valley of the Dolls. Not classics.

        Funny Jesse mentioned that Trebek told an audience member that Wuthering Heights was his favorite novel. I would never have thought that.

        • jacobska says:

          I was not a normal kid when growing up. According to my family at a very young age I was always reading nonfiction. It could be because my father was a businessman and all we had in the house were business books, biographies and autobiographies about famous people along with the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other business related material.

          At the dinner table I always wanted to be able to hold my own in discussions with my Dad. My Mom said at an early age she bought me toys and I would ignore them and reach for my Dad’s books. She could not figure out how I could read them. My friends teased me in those days as I got older and called me “book worm.” That was okay. I got the last laugh.

        • vj says:

          I was teased about being a bookworm too, jacob. I used to read a lot of historical bios, Napoleon and other rulers, presidents and I always had the dictionary handy when I was a kid. This is where you and I differ though. The reading material available to me was sort of controlled, going to catholic schools. I read a lot of saints bios too. Joan of Arc, John Bosco, John Vianney, Bernadette Soubirous, Therese of Lisiex etc etc etc. And Father Damian! I remember once the school librarian (a nun) made me read this book about a girl who got leprosy in Louisiana right before she was going to get married. I’m still not sure if you were supposed to be inspired by such stuff or think that your troubles were nothing by comparison.

        • jacobska says:

          Enough of childhood. I seldom watch tv today. Still prefer to read. I like Jeopardy because it forces people to think fast on their feet. Some of my former colleagues don’t own a tv. Said they don’t find it necessary. Like to read and travel like I do. My concern today is that young people are not reading as much as they should: fiction or nonfiction. Even with the tablets they prefer to download games over ebooks. Go figure.

        • vj says:

          what they need is a young and admired entrepreneur to start an Oprah like book club for business books, his very recommendation sending sales through the roof.

        • Jesse Yu says:

          I never stated that Alex said that his favorite novel was Wuthering Heights, that must’ve been someone else, because I do remember him saying that in response to an audience question, but I never said that here…

        • eric s says:

          That’s funny that you heard it somewhere. I actually asked him. I was there on my birthday and was going to ask him if he would say happy birthday, Eric (you know, because my name is Eric, ha, ha), but I got off-stage fright. So, I blurted.

  7. eric s says:

    GAME THEORY: Sunil: I guess he must know nothing at all about British Authors. His bet violated rule#1 of the Final Wager and could only win if both ladies were either wrong or bet nothing. I wish he had guessed right and still finished where he did.
    Jill: she bet to cover the possible double up of Jennifer, as she was supposed to do, however, her downside was going to be less than Jennifer’s, thus she should have bet it all. Again, since her downside (2199) was going to be less than Jennifer’s (3399), she was at no additional risk by betting more and thus, should’ve bet it all.
    Jennifer: you can tell she is a Final Wager fan. They will tell you to always bet for the lead, which is what she did. But she also protected her downside (6600-3201=3399). By that I mean she had the highest downside of any rational bet (Sunil’s bet does not qualify). However, I would advocate a zero (ish) bet on her part. Clearly, she could only win if both of the players missed or bet irrationally (like Sunil did), so why take the chance of being wrong. Guessing, I would say one out of twenty will do what Sunil did (risk going into FJ with the lead, possibly give the correct response, and lose) I have no problem with a 95% success rate. This is a different analysis than the Final Wager will provide.

    • Joe Blow says:

      Wow, wasn’t me who posted as you yesterday, eric s. Only posted again cause you seem to be unable to forget about me. Thanks for your daily fascinating post about game theory, though! Almost as fascinating as one of John’s 10,000 word posts about the time he had “one too many” crackers!!! Truly the last time you’ll see me post here. Enjoy your game about Shakespeare, Broadway, and the same trite nonsense as always!

      • eric s says:

        I knew it wasn’t you. You have enough integrity to give your name when you wanted and the intelligence to formulate a viable argument. Yeah, this analysis was long, but you didn’t have to read it (note the header). In fact, if you’d like to offer an alternative to the Final Wager in a more concise manner, please do. As far as I’m concerned, please post anytime.

      • eric s says:

        Oh, and thanks for reading.

      • vj says:

        Well, as far as I’m concerned, I hope it’s “truly the last time” though we heard that the last time. Don’t post, don’t lurk.

        You dropped in here about 2 weeks ago just to express your dislike for the posters and the site and said you didn’t want to post here. So again, I am amazed that you were suddenly around for the impersonation.

        • Joe Blow says:

          There’s nothing about the site that makes people into blowhards and sexists. I apologize for going too far with my blanket insult first post, but if you were offended it’s likely because you are a blowhard yourself. If what I brought up was “beneath you,” thanks for resorting to insulting my intelligence, the above accusation, and being a poor moderator in general!

        • eric s says:

          This should be fun. I think we’re going to see a little New Jersey strong here.

        • vj says:

          lol – you were the one who blew in here with the ‘tude. I merely asked you to be civil, something you obviously have a problem with.

          I am the site owner, not a “mod”. So think of it like my house. If you came over to my house and talked to me and my guests like that, I would show you the door.

        • jacobska says:

          Go vj. I enjoy seeing that Jersey side come out in you. Have to agree with you on setting someone straight in that you own the site. Condescending to address you as a moderator. This is NOT “Meet the Press.” :-)

        • eric s says:

          I thought you toned it down from what I expected, especially considering he wasn’t making sense. What you wrote seemed like an effective and well measured response.
          Can you tell that Jacob and I don’t want to be uninvited?

        • vj says:

          well, just trying to get to the bottom line there quickly, Eric — the second part, and saw no need to be argumentative about it.

          I am generally very happy that the majority who comment here are civil and polite to each other, and I just want it to stay that way.

        • jacobska says:

          @Eric, you are correct. Here’s a good Jeopardy clue. Answer: You should not try to get over on people raised in these two neighboring states because they are not easily fooled. Correct Response: What are New Jersey and New York?

        • eric s says:

          I like the song Won’t Get Fooled Again, by The Who. Does that count?

        • vj says:

          well you know how my mind works, Eric — there’s a fool and foolish songs in our immediate future. :-)

          Say, Jacob, how about Douglas Fairbanks and the Marx Brothers today? That was egregious to me!

          I have a post with a clip of Fairbanks in the Thief of Baghdad on here – it’s from an episode of Boardwalk Empire. (Scroll down).

          There’s that and in another part of the quotes on there, the FBI agent mentions C. Auguste Dupin to Eli Thompson (who was the bigwig’s brother). Eli says “I don’t know him.”

        • jacobska says:

          @vj – Same here. The old movies still run on tv. No excuse for that generation not to know Douglas Fairbanks and the Marx Bros. At least Jennifer did get the Jazz Singer clue.

        • eric s says:

          The Fool on the Hill.
          Egregious, VJ? It was like ninety years ago. More than four score and seven (pretty much).
          Why would some guy from Alaska and Karl’s siblings be on people’s minds now?

    • Marilyn Ahrenhoerster says:

      Jill did not bet to cover possible double up for Jennifer as 2 times 6600 is 13200 NOT 12200 .

      • eric s says:

        It is if you don’t carry the one. Obviously, you are totally correct. This makes an even stronger argument for betting it all (plus, less math).
        I am truly sorry for the mistake.Thank you, Marilyn.

  8. vj says:

    What I want to know is why they would only accept tropical zone for – this zone is between 23 1/2 north and south latitude. – I always thought equatorial, tropical and torrid were all good for that. They gave Sunil a be more specific – how is he supposed to know they want a totally different word or did they think he would say the tropical equatorial zone?

    At this point Sunil had $11,800 against the two ladies tied at $4,200. After that it was pretty much downhill for him, though he perked up a little in the end.

    Then they accepted trees for Jennifer in — a jardiniere is a large decorative stand or receptacle for these. – “We’ll accept that — trees, plants, flowers”, Alex said.

  9. eric s says:

    How come so many famous British women have the first name Dame?
    Yes, John’s point of the quick buzzer was evident today.
    Has anyone ever wondered why you have never seen Jennifer and Roger Craig in the same room?
    And, yes sports fans, both of my picks today beat a three-time champion. Even though he didn’t end up with the most money at the end of his game, Jesse graced us with much more than a win.

    • jacobska says:

      Dame is not their first name. It is a title. When I lived in Europe my understanding was it was the female version of Knighthood. I may be wrong.

      • vj says:

        here’s what wikipedia says (though I thought eric was joking) —

        “Dame is the female equivalent of the honour of knighthood in the British honours system and several other countries such as Australia (The word “damehood” is rarely used but is shown on the official British Monarchy website as being the correct term).”

        In the case of the UK, the woman has to be a British subject. American actress Angelina Jolie was recently made an honorary dame. Elizabeth Taylor held dual citizenship, US/UK, so she was made a dame.

        • eric s says:

          Angelina Jolie is quite a dame, see (best Bogart that I have).
          For some reason, I have this thing for Helen Mirren. I know, she is significantly older than I, but I just can’t deny it. She is quite a Dame, as well.

        • jacobska says:

          Thanks vj. I feel better knowing that I was correct.

        • john blahuta says:

          basically “Dame” is the equivalent of “Sir” and can not be passed on to your children (like Lord,Duke etc…) it’s a lifetime title only.
          paul mccartney is Sir Paul McCartney. he can not pass on the title to his children e.g.
          there is an even lower “honor” that can be bestowed, the MBE (member of the british empire). all 4 beatles were given that honor, but only the 2 top ranks in that order entitle the bearer to use “dame” or “sir” before the proper name. it is also common to address a “sir” by his first name. so it would be “Sir Paul” in personal conversation.the distinction between a title and pure politeness is that the title comes before the name”Do you think so,Sir Paul””, while pure politeness would make you say “Do you think so, sir?”

        • eric s says:

          Some “rock” stars are named Sir: Reginald Dwight (who has never been in my kitchen?) changed his name to get there and Duke Ellington was already royalty when Stevie Wonder dubbed him “Sir Duke”, so he was demoted. I wonder if the King and Prince could be demoted?
          Did you ever stop to think about your Sirs and rock and roll? There is also Sir Charles Barkley. I wonder if he had any albums in the ’70’s? And Sirhan, he really sent RFK to the beautiful music, but ruined the symphony for the rest of us.

    • Jesse Yu says:

      Thanks for the shoutout eric! Might hang around more after this, I dunno. Depends on how I feel about Jeopardy in the coming weeks.

      • eric s says:

        Man, thanks for stopping in. Come back for the game theory, we can discuss. Understand the mixed emotions, though. Thanks for helping the rising stars. Best of luck either way.

      • Jesse YU says:

        Thanks for the conversation as well, eric. As I said, I might stick around, depends on how I feel about the next couple of Jeopardy episodes.