Deeper Into Jeopardy! VII: Photography – $800

Jeopardy! category: PHOTOGRAPHY (28-02-2014)

$800 clue: In 1929 this 2-word phrase was coined for Erich Salomon’s spontaneous photo technique, later used by Allen Funt

Correct response

The gist: What better reason to go through your day with a smile on your face? If you were an accused killer on trial in a German court in 1927, you might have been unknowingly (and illegally) posing for Erich Salomon’s lens cleverly (and hilariously) concealed inside his bowler hat. Continue reading

Deeper Into Jeopardy! VI: Islands of the Pacific – $800

Jeopardy! category: ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC (19-02-2014)

$800 clue: A big tourist activity in Tonga is whale watching, & since the whales are mainly this singing species, whale listening too

Correct response

The gist: Those of us gritting our teeth at the cold this time of year up here in the north of the northern hemisphere are probably a little jealous of the subjects of this category, but don’t be when it comes to this one. Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! V: Biology Class – $800

Jeopardy! category: BIOLOGY CLASS (12-02-2014)

$800 clue: While red bone marrow gets its color from developing red blood cells, yellow marrow gets its color from this

Correct response

The gist: Marrow may have been one of the most important sources of animal protein for early humans, since we were smart enough to use stone tools to crack open bones while fiercer animals* who had claws and sharp teeth but lacked thumbs and big brains contented themselves with killing the prey and munching on the meat. The humble, hidden tissue has seen a resurgence in haut-cuisine since Fergus Henderson, proponent of “nose-to-tail” carnivorism (that is, not wasting any bits of the animal we are, after all, killing) began offering it roasted at his restaurant St. JOHN in London, which opened in 1994.

Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! IV: Surrealism – $800

Jeopardy! category: SURREALISM (04-02-2014)

$800 clue: He painted a pipe with the baffling caption “This is not a pipe”

Correct response

The gist: La trahison des images (or The Treachery of Images) is pretty simple; it’s a nice painting of a wooden smoking pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” (handily translated in the clue) written below in a pleasing cursive.And, of course, the words don’t lie. The painted pipe is not a pipe – it’s a bunch of paint and canvas arranged such that it looks like an actual physical pipe you might actually hold in your hand. But it isn’t one of those. It’s just a picture of one. Right? Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! III: What a literary character! – $800

Jeopardy! category: WHAT A LITERARY CHARACTER! (27-01-2014)

$800 clue: By first names, this title group is Alyosha, Ivan, Dmitri & Smerdyakov

Correct response

The gist: Alyosha is the quiet, kind, thoughtful acolyte in the local monastery. Ivan is the analytical genius student of philosophy, back home to visit the family. Dmitri is the party animal, spending his money on wine and women, in love with a local girl. Smerdyakov is the abandoned, illegitimate son of the other three’s father, brought up as a servant in his father’s their father’s household. OK, the Muscovite sitcom I was trying to put together may have fallen apart with that last one, but of course, this is no TV show. Continue reading

Deeper into Jeopardy! II: Obama-Rama – $800

Jeopardy! category: OBAMA-RAMA (21-01-2014)

$800 clue: “Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream” is the subtitle of this bestseller, Obama’s second book

Correct response (highlight to see): THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

The gist: Obama released The Audacity of Hope, his second book after Dreams from My Father, in October 2006, about three months before announcing his presidential candidacy in February 2007. The title (not the subtitle) is taken from a speech made by the pastor of Obama and his family’s Chicago church, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons came under ludicrously intense scrutiny during Obama’s campaign. The phrase in Wright’s sermon in turn derives from G. F. Watts’ 1886 painting “Hope,” which depicts a hunched and blindfolded female figure, the personification of the titular Hope, holding a nearly-destroyed lyre, yet, in Wright’s interpretation, still having “the audacity to hope.” Obama also used the phrase, then already changed to “the audacity of hope,” in a speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (apologies for the audio-video issues in that video; take it up with C-SPAN). “Hope,” of course, would be a central theme in his campaign, and would get picked up by the Right later on, along with “change,” as his “hopey-changey stuff.”

The book itself is a personal exploration of Obama’s beliefs, political, religious, and otherwise, and his thoughts on American culture. It would remain on the New York Times bestseller list for 30 weeks, and the audiobook won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 2008.

The front cover of Obama’s second book, with his first book mentioned at the bottom

The clue: A straightforward clue about a very well-known book, the only tricky part here is to not get it confused with Dreams from My Father, which had its own subtitle, A Story of Race and Inheritance. Shouldn’t be too hard to keep them apart, though; Obama’s first book was an examination of his own upbringing by his white mother and Indonesian stepfather in the shadow of his African father, so the subtitle certainly fits.

In Jeopardy!: The Audacity of Hope appears in four clues in the J!Archive… and two category titles: THE AUDACITY OF BOB HOPE and THE AUDACITY OF HOPE… which was also about Bob Hope. Maybe the writers ought to be checking the Archive a bit more often? Anyway, if the book hasn’t shown up in too many clues it’s likely only because it’s relatively new – expect it to show up more, especially as Obama’s second term comes to a close.

Deeper Into Jeopardy! I: Battle Nations – $800

Category: BATTLE NATIONS (17-01-2014)

$800 clue: Ancient Callipolis is now this Turkish site of a World War I clash.

Correct Response (highlight to see): GALLIPOLI

The gist: The Gallipoli Campaign, sometimes called the Battle of Gallipoli (which is what I’ve always called it), was a major Allied defeat and Ottoman victory in World War I. The Allies attempted to launch an amphibious assault at Gallipoli, the peninsula that forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, which is the strait that links the Mediterranean (and the Aegean) to the Sea of Marmara (here’s a map). The campaign, which began on April 25, 1915, under the faulty recommendation of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty,  finally ended eight months later on January 9, 1916, when the Allied forces retreated to Egypt, then a British protectorate. It was a defining moment of both WWI and the history of modern Turkey – Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, was himself a commander at Gallipoli. Although this clue doesn’t give you much detail into the battle itself besides that it took place during WWI, it primes you to pick up on the evolution of Callipolis (Greek for “beautiful city”) into modern Gallipoli, much like ancient Tripolis (“three cities”) is now Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

In Jeopardy!: Gallipoli appears in 15 regular clues and 1 Final Jeopardy! clue in the J!Archive, 12 explicitly concerning the battle. Most of the clues mention WWI and Turkey (unless Turkey is itself the answer), the two only appear together in clues with “Gallipoli” as the answer. Two clues also mention Australian filmmaker Peter Weir’s film Gallipoli, which was about the campaign – Australian and New Zealand forces played central roles in the battle, and the single Final J! Clue asks about a memorial tree planted by Australia in 2005, for the battle’s 90th anniversary. Also, Churchill gets two mentions for his blunder, and Ataturk gets one for his success. Two clues mention Gallipoli without reference to WWI – one simply asks which country the peninsula is in, and the other is looking for the Ottomans, who took Gallipoli from the Byzantine Empire in the 1370s. It’s very likely, then, that in a military context that the clue will include two of “Turkey,” “WWI,” and “Gallipoli,” and the correct response will be the one remaining… although I’m a little surprised there’s never been a correct response about its geography more specific than “Turkey.” Better keep the Dardanelles in your head as well.