‘Peril!’ giving us clues far beyond the categories on his paintings

The theme music captures the attitude of the show: nerdy and confident.

Your, your, your, your. Your, your, your.

Instantly recognizable, it was a lullaby before it signaled fans to sit down.

The TV show’s main draw is in the insufferably difficult categories and the answers that have to be in the form of questions.

But the star for so many years was her quiet, classy Canadian host, Alex Trebek.

That he died in 2020 of pancreatic cancer still stirs bittersweet memories of a man who acted like he was protecting an institution.

“Peril!” remains an institution.

It’s a national classroom, a lab for continuing education classes and, for some, a diet that keeps the brain agile and fights memory loss.

It’s earned a coveted spot alongside the New York Times crossword puzzle (can’t finish one), Sudoku (never interested), and the latest puzzle craze, Wordle (not tried yet).

Where else but “Jeopardy!” could we be exposed to a litany of details about the year “1922”, in which defending champion Amy Schneider chimed in for that daunting clue, “a pact of 1922 divided the water of this river between the Upper basin states like Utah and lower basin states like California.”

“What is Colorado? she said, according to super-fan site “J! Archive.”

In a Final Jeopardy category, “Words of Victor Hugo”, she also correctly answered “What is the guillotine?” to this clue: “This object is the ultimate expression of the law, and its name is vengeance; it is not neutral nor does it allow us to remain neutral.

Schneider answered correctly over 1,000 times.

Developed by late quiz show king Merv Griffin, “Jeopardy!” made television history, not least for its longevity and ratings, and endured controversy after Trebek’s death with a reckless replacement now gone.

He settled on two permanent hosts, actress Mayim Bialik, who has a doctorate in nueroscience, and top-winning contestant Ken Jennings, whose relationships with contestants, including Schneider, have been noted.

I watched a lot more “Jeopardy!” during the coronavirus pandemic than for a long time. It’s one of the perks of working from home, where CNN stays on most of the day, if at the lowest perceptible volume.

Schneider made history in several ways. On Friday, she reached her 38th consecutive game and surpassed the $1.3 million mark in earnings.

She’s leading a movement to bring back the wise pearl necklace, but before every show, in her head, she calls out the lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

“You better get lost in the music, the moment,” they say. “You own it, you better never let it go. You only get one hit.

She’s the highest-earning contestant in the show’s history, fulfilling a prediction from her eighth-grade classmates who voted her “most likely to be on” Jeopardy! “”

She’s tied for second place with Jeopardy winner Matt Amodio, though host Jennings still holds the top spot with 74 consecutive contests.

She is a software engineer from Oakland, California who lives openly as a transgender woman.

Reports have noted that she is not the first openly trans woman to appear on the show, nor its first trans champion.

His attitude made him stand out. She’s a graceful winner, yet she’s poised, focused, and steely with superb strategic skills and an all-American smile. She won over the fans.


In December, some wondered if she was really the first woman to join the ranks of the show’s big four winners, with the rest being male.

On Twitter, @Jeopardamy responded with aplomb, seemingly channeling Trebek.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time during this busy holiday period to reach out and explain to me that in fact, I am a man,” she wrote. “Each of you is the first person to make this very clever point, which had never crossed my mind.”

Most of her tweets, however, are about the game. She self-evaluates every performance.

“Once again, it’s time for a big Final Jeopardy bet, and again, I missed it! However, it’s the one I don’t really feel bad about; I didn’t have any just no idea what ‘The Paper Chase’ was, and you can’t know everything.

Through her appearances, she teaches us how to play the game. She has the courage to play on her own terms.

“Of all the things that came out of my Jeopardy run,” she tweeted this week, “I’ll always be most proud of all the good I’ve managed to do for the trans community.”

She recently spoke about the possibility of losing.

I’m not looking forward to this episode.

The institution of “Jeopardy!” will continue to teach us through trivial and surprising knowledge and ways that will keep us tuned into that familiar jingle.

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