Let’s meet today’s contestants:
- Tim, an attorney, married his “Barefoot in the Park” co-star;
- Melis, a data analyst, fell off a bus on two occasions; and
- Jon, a musician-screenwriter, played with Elton John and Stevie Wonder at the same time. Jon is a two-day champ with winnings of $60,002.
Tim seemed to be in control after building a big lead on DD2, but Jon kept making progress and earned a tie with Tim going into FJ at $14,200, followed by Melis at $2,000.
DD1 – $600 – TITLES & HONORIFICS – American legal eagles are commonly called this, but it also can refer to the eldest son of a baronet (Tim lost the window maximum of $1,000.)
DD2 – $1,200 – MEGALITHS – This 5-letter word for a circle of stones is a back-formation from the name of a famous one on Salisbury Plain (Tim won $4,000 from his score of $10,200 vs. $4,400 for Melis.)
DD3 – $1,600 – SCIENCE – Working according to the same principles as a laser, a maser gets the “m” in its name from this word (Melis lost $4,000 from her third-place total of $5,600.)
FJ – EUROPEAN LANDMARKS – Of the principal architects working on it from the mid-1500s to the 1980s, like Pierre Lescot & Hector Lefuel, none were foreigners
Everyone was incorrect on FJ. As expected, Tim and Jon both lost everything while Melis wisely bet $0 to win with $2,000. Jon got the $2,000 second-place award as he was ahead of Tim at the end of round one.
Wagering strategy: This outcome showed why when in a tie for the lead going into FJ, a $0 wager from a leading player is worth considering, especially if that player isn’t crazy about the category. Missing on a difficult FJ clue means a guaranteed loss when betting it all. But even if the clue is easy and you bet everything, if your opponent does the same, you still have to win a coin flip tiebreaker.
Clue selection strategy: Late in DJ with DD3 remaining, Tim and Jon picked from the category where DD2 had already been found, then Jon chose lower-value clues in the remaining untouched category first.
Triple Stumper of the day: For a late top-row clue that could have changed the outcome of the game, no one guessed the winged god whose drawings evolved into kewpie dolls, Cupid.
Correct Qs: DD1 – What is esquire? DD2 – What is henge? DD3 – What is microwave? FJ – What is the Louvre?