Deeper into Jeopardy! XL: Zodiac Constellations – $400

It’s just regular size, not Extra Large, but welcome anyway to the 40th(!) installment of Deeper into Jeopardy!. It’s been an exciting couple of weeks in the J! world recently. The A.V. Club did an XL-as-in-extra-large interview with Jeopardy!’s head writer Billy Wisse which gives some good insight into the way the show’s writers think about and construct their clues. This spreadsheet of the show’s most common categories and responses also made its way to my eyes – I don’t actually know how long it’s been floating around the internet but I came upon through three separate sources in the past two weeks. While it’s sort of interesting, I don’t actually think it’s likely to help that much if you actually want to prepare for the show – certainly, it tells you that it’s good to know about China, but that’s a huge category and it doesn’t tell you what exactly you should know about China. Moreover, the category lists are really unhlepful. How are you supposed to study for “Before & After,” or “Potpourri”? You can’t. Even the somewhat more specific categories like “American History” are hopelessly broad. But anyway, last and probably most, all sorts of media outlets that normally don’t pay much attention to the show ran stories about March 12’s single-player Final Jeopardy! round, running the gamut from fact-based reporting to moral panic over the decay of the nation’s game show contestants. I caution anyone rushing to judgment to remember that the game is much harder to play on stage than it is in one’s living room, but… it was still a pretty weak performance. Certainly it was a very good reminder on the dangers of guessing – a wrong response, on average, swings the game away from you then a correct response swings it for you. Anyway, seeing as so many people heard about that episode, I thought it would be appropriate to take a category from it, so this time it’s ZODIAC CONSTELLATIONSfive clues that did more than their share to doom those two unfortunate contestants.

Jeopardy! category: ZODIAC CONSTELLATIONS (12-3-2015)

$400 clue: The brightest star in the constellation of this archer is Kaus Australis, from the Arabic for “bow” & Latin for “southern”, respectively

Correct response

The gist: And nearby it’s got Kaus Borealis, the bow’s northern bit, and Kaus Media, where the arrow itself comes out.  Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! XXXIX: Crime Writers – Final Jeopardy!

Final Jeopardy! category: CRIME WRITERS (25-1-1999)

FJ! Clue: 1 of the 2 female crime writers who were in the British House of Lords in 1998

Correct response

The gist: There have actually been at least four woman writers in the House of Lords, one of the U.K. Parliament’s two houses, and in fact at least three can, in a sense, be considered “crime writers.”  Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! XXXIX: Women Authors – $800

Jeopardy! category: WOMEN AUTHORS (3-3-2015)

$800 clue: She wrote for children’s TV shows like “Clarissa Explains It All” before turning out “The Hunger Games”

Correct response

The gist: There have been a few times in the last few years when if you were to talk into just about any bookstore, she’d be the first name you’d see.  Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! XXXIX: Women Authors – $400

As it was International Women’s Day just yesterday, what better time could there be to take a look at WOMEN AUTHORS? None. So let’s do just that.

Jeopardy! category: WOMEN AUTHORS (3-3-2015)

$400 clue: The 2013 documentary “Beauty in Truth” looks at the life of this “Color Purple” author & activist

Correct response

The gist: Even if The Color Purple is what most people know her for, she’s done a lot more than that in her time.  Continue reading