‘Jeopardy!’ Drops UFO Question Inspired By ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

by Chris Haney

On Tuesday night, Jeopardy! explained a UFO-themed clue in more detail as the game show shared a further explanation on social media.

The trivia show broke down the clue in a segment they call “Beyond the Clue.” The posts give viewers more context behind some of Jeopardy!’s tougher questions. During tonight’s episode, one clue referenced unidentified flying objects and a hit movie that helped popularize the term the game show was looking for.

“One of these of the ‘the first kind’ means seeing a UFO in some sort of detail,” the clue read.

Jeopardy! contestants needed to answer with, “What is Close Encounters of the First Kind?”

As the game show details, astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek created a classification system for UFO sightings. He defined three separate close encounters, which were made famous in the 1977 Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

“Whether you’re a true believer or not, the science behind ‘close encounters’ is real,” Jeopardy! wrote on Instagram. “Astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek is credited with developing the classification system for UFO sightings based on research he conducted while working on a series of classified projects for the U.S. Air Force. In Close Encounters of the Second Kind, physical evidence of the UFO is left behind like scorched plants and trees and inoperable vehicles. Made popular by the title film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind refers to sightings of physical life aboard the UFO.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Takes Viewers ‘Beyond the Clue’ After Difficult Final Round

Last week, Jeopardy! presented a difficult final clue to its contestants. Following the episode, the trivia show explained it further in another “Beyond the Clue” post. In fact, the clue was so tricky, a contestant missed the answer by only one letter.

The game show’s clue was based on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. For fans that need a refresher, the book is the sequel to Carroll’s 1865 classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The book isn’t as popular as the original, so most fans won’t remember many of the sequel’s characters. For example, the Jabberwock is a monster Carroll includes in a nonsensical poem-within-the-novel.

Even though it’s similar, the monster itself shouldn’t be confused with the title of the poem: “Jabberwocky.” However, one contestant unfortunately made that exact blunder during the final round last Tuesday. They answered by writing the poem’s name ending in “Y” instead of writing, Jabberwock. Therefore the game show ruled the answer as wrong.

“With words like frumious, vorpal, and slithy, Lewis Carroll had a knack for making up nonsensical words that stuck in his poem-within-a-novel, ‘Jabberwocky.’ In fact, several of the ‘meaningless’ words Carroll coined in ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ went on to become actual dictionary words, including the poem’s title itself, ‘Jabberwocky,’ and others like bandersnatch, chortle, frabjous, and galumph,” Jeopardy! wrote on Instagram.

“And for those stumped by today’s Final Jeopardy! Clue: while the poem’s title is “Jabberwocky,” the dreadful monster that the boy overcomes is actually called “the Jabberwock,” the account added.