Challengers approaching

With end of JIT, Jeopardy gets back to ‘normal’

Published April 14, 2024

Welcome back to my weekly rundown from the world of Jeopardy!

Tournament season wrapped up this week, with the end of the Jeopardy Invitational Tournament and the start of regular play for 2024. As always, each heading contains a link to my daily write-up over at The Jeopardy! Fan

2024 Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament, Final, Game #2, Monday, Apr. 8

If all one had seen about this game was “Victoria Groce got 30 correct, 0 incorrect, and $11,200 on a True Daily Double,” you might naturally assume that she ran away with this one. Incredibly, that was not the case, despite her incredible $37,600 after Double Jeopardy. Needing just one more win to take the trophy, Amy Schneider stayed in contention with the other two Daily Doubles; she took $26,000 into Final Jeopardy. (Andrew He was in a distant third, and out of contention.)

The Final Jeopardy clue in Mythology: A peasant who became the King of Phrygia created this intricate problem that was solved in 333 B.C. All three players untied this Gordian Knot, putting Victoria beside Amy on the brink. 

Game #3, Tuesday, Apr. 9

In a rare turn of events for a game of this magnitude, Victoria and Amy combined to go 0-for-3 on Daily Doubles. This gave Andrew a window of opportunity, but Victoria recovered well enough from her last Daily Double miss to hold a slim $1,400 lead going into Final Jeopardy. Amy was in third, but still in contention–especially if Final Jeopardy was a Triple Stumper.

That Final Jeopardy clue was in Bodies of Water: The smallest inland sea in the world, it’s completely within the territory of a single country & connects 2 other larger seas. Once again, all three got it right with the Sea of Marmara, and once again, Victoria got the win–but this one gave her a second victory, and a direct ticket to Jeopardy! Masters.

Wednesday, Apr. 10

With tournament play done in syndication for 2024, three-day champion Lucas Partridge returned to the Alex Trebek Stage, a mere 258 days after his previous victory. Challenger Daniel Rosenberg got off to the best start, though, running a baseball category en route to a $3,800 lead before anyone else had given a correct response. From that point, wheelhouse categories were few and far between, with all three struggling as a result (the other challenger was Lee Wilkins). In all, the game saw 15 Triple Stumpers, 15 incorrect responses, and the first four unrevealed clues of the season. After all that carnage, Lucas held a slim $400 lead over Daniel going into Final Jeopardy.

The clue, in Animated Film Characters: In this 2017 film Dante is a hairless breed known as a Xolo dog. No one followed the Nahuatl and Alighieri hints to Coco, so this became a classic case of a Triple Stumper favoring the backmarker. Lucas and Daniel went all-in, and Lee became champion with just $2,200. In fact, since the new second-place prize is $3,000, Lee made less in this game than the two guys she beat. But she’d be back …

Thursday, Apr. 11

Alison Betts got off to the best start in Lee’s title defense, picking up correct responses on 7 of the first 8 clues to jump out to a big lead after 30 clues. The Daily Double betting in this one was a bit timid, with Alison and Brian Hardzinski limiting themselves to $2,000 bets. While Lee got the hang of the buzzer in Double Jeopardy, her chances of a second victory were limited by several incorrect responses as Brian reeled in much of Alison’s lead; the two were separated by just $600 going into Final Jeopardy.

Space Shuttles was the category for that one: 2 space shuttles were named for craft commanded by this man who died far from home in 1779. Captain James Cook helmed both the O.G. Discovery and the O.G. Endeavour. Brian and Alison both knew that, and both bet $14,000, so it was Alison who made Lee a one-and-done champ.

Friday, Apr. 12

Sarah Avery had the best start, but Alison completely dominated Double Jeopardy. She found both Daily Doubles—getting a $7,000 True Daily Double on the first—and got in on an eye-popping 82% of her buzzer attempts in the round. She cruised to a runaway game going into Final, her $25,600 more than $10k ahead of Sarah’s $8,400 and Brian Phillips’s $6,400 combined.

The week-ending clue was in Authors’ Afterlives: After his death his son Michel reworked & published manuscripts like one about a meteor made of gold heading for Earth. While some viewers thought that “meteor” was close enough to “asteroid” to point to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, both Alison and Brian successfully named Jules Verne. Alison tacked on $7,500, giving her a 2-day total of $61,700.

Other notes from the week:

Andy Saunders covers Jeopardy! daily as site administrator for The Jeopardy! Fan. He is also a founding archivist of The J! Archive. His weekly recap appears at Questionist every Sunday.

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