Game #4 still a stumbling block for returning champs

Published May 19, 2024

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

Will Stewart entered this week as a one-day champion, hoping to win a second game (and possibly more).

Each heading contains a link to my daily write-up over at The Jeopardy! Fan

Monday, May 13:

The week got off to a bit of a slow start, with Will missing a Daily Double early and the first four clues seeing zero correct responses. However, things picked up for Will in Double Jeopardy, as he got both Daily Doubles correct to build a runaway lead. Meanwhile, the challengers struggled on the second board: Joyce Yang, the midway leader, only got in on 31% of her buzzer attempts, while Michael Richter dipped as low as minus-$4,400 at one point, and came up one clue short of making it to Final Jeopardy.

Final Jeopardy was in Cinema History: Films made outside the U.S. in the ‘50s like “Three Coins in the Fountain” & “Quo Vadis” led to an era dubbed “Hollywood on” this river. Both remaining players knew that those films were filmed in Rome near the Tiber; Will’s two-day total rose to $44,301.

Tuesday, May 14:

Challenger Omar Ahmed ran a dance-music category, but this was decided on Daily Doubles. Ashley Atkin lost $2,000 on hers in the opening round; later, Omar decided to bet  just $2,600 on his—only tying Will for the lead at that point. Will then showed his challengers how Daily Doubles should be played, betting $10,000 on the last one; his correct response allowed him to cruise to his second straight lock game.

Final Jeopardy was in Business Logos: Early 1900s labels for this beverage brand featured a beaver sitting on a log at the top of a map. Your Canadian columnist has a soft spot for Canada Dry ginger ale, and got this immediately; the players weren’t so lucky, and it fell for a Triple Stumper. Will’s runaway improved his three-day total to $70,501.

Wednesday, May 15:

Will’s bid for win #4 started well; he picked up 12 correct and $7,600 on the opening board, while Grant DeYoung struggled with four incorrect responses and Kathy Olson—whose interview admitted that she’s been trying to get on the show since the postcard era of the ‘80s—struggled on the buzzer, getting in on less than 40% of attempts. In Double Jeopardy, Grant had more success—despite an incorrect Daily Double and two other incorrect responses, he stormed back to take the lead on the last clue.

The crucial Final Jeopardy clue, in 19th Century Literary Characters: John Elwes, a millionaire Member of Parliament who would go to bed before dusk to save on candles, inspired this character. This one played much easier than the previous day—all three players named Ebenezer Scrooge— and Grant’s $25,601 win made Will the third straight three-day champion to fall on the fourth.

Thursday, May 16:

Grant held the lead at the contestant interviews, but fell back to $0 on a Daily Double shortly thereafter. Unfazed, he passed Chen Yan for second place by the end of the round, then picked off Elizabeth Brzozowski, who got in on less than 30% of her Double Jeopardy buzzer attempts to fall to a distant third. Grant picked up a combined $11,000 on the second board’s Daily Doubles, enough to clinch the week’s third runaway victory.

The Early 20th Century was the category for clue #61: Before entering history, this man visited the grave of Bogdan Zerajic, who had died just a few years earlier. Zerajic was an inspiration for Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated Franz Ferdinand. Grant put a punctuation mark on a strong game by getting this more difficult Final correct; he picked up $20,800 for a two-day total of $46,401.

Friday, May 17:

Grant broke open the week-ender midway through the opening round; he picked up $3,200 on a True Daily Double and finished the opening board with a week-high $8,000. In Double Jeopardy both challengers—Nick Coombs and Rachel Shelton—tried to catch Grant. Rachel’s hopes ended with a missed True Daily Double, Nick got in on 70% of his buzzer attempts, and Grant, picking up $5,000 on the last Daily Double, amassed just under 2x Nick’s score. No runaway this time! Rachel failed to get in on the buzzer after her miss, and did not get to play Final Jeopardy.

Nick needed a correct response in Book & Movie Title References: The title of this 2001 book, also a 2003 film, forms a partial border between Boston, Chelsea, Medford & Everett. Unfortunately for Nick, Grant came up with Mystic River and became a three-day champion with $67,202.

Other notes from the week:

  • Some big news on the spinoff front: Amazon Prime will air Pop Culture Jeopardy, where teams of three will be competing in a tournament. Signups and testing have begun!
  • Next week features Grant De Young hoping to end a recent “curse” of three-game winners; will he win a fourth game on Monday?

Andy Saunders covers Jeopardy! daily as site administrator for The Jeopardy! Fan. He is also a founding archivist of The J! Archive.