The Jeopardy thread [was James Holzhauer]

Do you recall the exact phrasing of the clue? I’m not entirely convinced that “Wile E. Coyote” was the nemesis of the Roadrunner. There were a couple cartoons with Wile E. Coyote as a foil for Bugs Bunny, and he introduces himself as such in those cartoons. But I don’t recall that name ever being used in a cartoon with the Roadrunner. I seem to remember him being referred to just as “the Coyote”, and that character never spoke. I doubt even Jeopardy would make such a fine distinction, though.

There was also a third character, Ralph Wolf (the foil of Sam Sheepdog) who looked exactly the same except for a different colored nose.

The iron carrot was probably bought by Wile E. Coyote, but I don’t think the others were.

I remember a big error in the category “rhyme time.” The clue was something like this: “A burrowing rodent’s only part in the play.”

The accepted answer was “sole mole role” which was accepted. Well, moles are NOT rodents. Did the clue writer not know that? Alex and the judges and the contestant didn’t. “Sole vole role” works because voles are burrowing rodents.

IIRC, the iron pellets were mixed in with the birdseed, allowing the coyote to be pulled along by a magnet while on roller skates.

If you look at the Archives, you’ll see they do occasionally note errata. For example, “Adventure Land” (the Disney attraction) was corrected to “Adventureland.”

Yes, but that was used against the Roadrunner. The iron carrot was used against Bugs.

Of course. Rabbits eat carrots, birds eat birdseed.

I got the Feb 25 Jeopardy (landlocked countries)
(paraphrase) This African country with the largest population became landlocked in 1993

Ethiopia – I tried thinking of countries that split up, and I knew it wasn’t Sudan (plus that was much later) I actually didn’t know Eritrea took up all the coast, but it was my best guess.


For some reason, I was looking at a map of Africa the other day and was surprised to see how much territory Ethiopia lost (leaving it landlocked). The year 1993 stuck in my memory as well, since it was also when Czechoslovakia broke up.

I happened to see todays Saturday rerun. Alex was on it. Caught me by surprise.

It must have been very early summer 2020. A question about Kamala Harris referenced her as a recent Presidential candidate. Not a VP candidate with Biden.

It was nice seeing Alex again.

In general, first names are not necessary except to distinguish people with the same last name (for example, John Quincy Adams v John Adams).

If she had simply written “Gordy” I suspect that they would have ruled it acceptable.

Are rules like this published anywhere or otherwise given to contestants? Or are they supposed to know?

I know only what Alex explained on the air in specific cases. I’m pretty sure several participants in this thread said they have been on the show. I invite them to write in about what they were told.

Before you film the show, you are given an extensive briefing in the green room, wherein all the rules are explained. The “last names are usually fine” thing is one of the rules you’re told, although if you’ve watched the show a lot (as pretty much all contestants have), it’s pretty well-known. The host will usually say “Be more specific” if a more specific answer is called for.

Of course, with Final Jeopardy they won’t, and can’t, do that. So what we were told with regard to Final Jeopardy was, “Make your answer as specific as you think it needs to be.” That’s probably why that contestant felt that she had to write the full name “Barry Gordy.” It’s true that if she had just written “Gordy,” it likely would have been accepted. As I mentioned, it wouldn’t have made any difference in the outcome of the game, but it does feel a little weird.

I often think that Jeopardy doesn’t always take regional accents into account. Occasionally there will be categories like “Rhyme Time” or “Silent Letters.” Sometimes there are clues where, in my dialect, the words don’t rhyme, or the letters aren’t silent.

Thank you. That makes me feel better. Although I agree most contestants have seen enough shows to get the gist of it, rules should be explicit when possible.

They do take the explanation of the rules seriously. In my particular contestant briefing, the producer in question even reprimanded one of the contestants for not paying attention. She did it politely, but she still did it. She said it was the law, or at least a regulation, that every contestant had to receive the same information.

Another little-known rule mentioned in the briefing: the minimum bet for Double Jeopardy is $5.

Really? I had not ever heard of this rule.

I wonder what the reasoning is behind it?

Betting nothing would be boring and not in keeping with the “jeopardy” aspect of the game. Every response is a wager with risks and rewards.

It’s the kind of rule that wouldn’t be likely to be mentioned on air, or known by anyone who hadn’t actually played.

There was a recent contestant who asked if he could make a negative bet. That was funny.