Final Jeopardy: American Literature

Today’s Final Jeopardy question (2/11/2013) in the category “American Literature” was:

In the first chapter of this 1939 novel, “When the night came again, it was black night, for the stars could not pierce the dust.”

We’re finishing up the Teen Tournament with a 2-day match, and these three finalists will be competing on both days: Leonard Cooper a senior from Arkansas; Barrett Block, a senior from Kentucky; and Nilai Sarda, a freshman from Georgia.

Nilai found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “College Recommendations.” He was in second place with $4,200, $1,000 less than Leonard in the lead. Nilai bet $1,000 and he was RIGHT.

Be impressed that the $1 million given in 1873 to endow this U. was the Commodore’s only major philanthropy. show

Nilai finished in the lead with $6,400. Leonard was second with $6,000 and Barrett was last with $1,600.

Barrett found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “Discoverers and Inventors” on his second pick. He was still in third place with $2,000, $4,400 less than Nilai’s lead. He made it a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

In 1783 Antoine Lavoisier named this element, from Greek words for “water former”. show

Barrett found the last Daily Double in “Biblical Quotes.” He now was in second place with $10,400, $4,400 less than Nilai’s lead. He bet $2,000, and thought it was “roses” but that was WRONG.

Matthew 6 says: “Consider” these flowers “of the field, how they grow.” show

Nilai finished in the lead with $16,400. Leonard was next with $10,000 and Barrett was in third place with $8,800.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


The opening pages of John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel set in the Great Depression are all about dust. The line quoted actually contains the 10th time the word occurs. In total, the first section of Chapter 1 alone contains the word “dust” 22 times, 23 if you count “dusted.”(Grapes of Wrath: Chapter 1)

Barrett got it and doubled his score to $17,600.

Leonard thought it was “The Awakening.” That cost him $7,000 so he was left with $3,000.

Nilai also got it right and bet $2,600 so he ended up with $19,000.

The contestants will be bringing these amounts in the final match tomorrow, which, as Alex Trebek pointed out, may be preempted due to the State of the Union address. But when we find out when the match will be broadcast, we will watch it and recap it.

Kudos to Nilai and Barrett for getting Final Jeopardy! correct. American Literature is chock full of dark and stormy nights so we really weren’t too sure they’d zero in on the dust and the year in 30 seconds.

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