On Tuesday night, Jeopardy! had a tough final clue for its contestants, which the game show explained in further detail on Instagram.
Following last night’s episode, Jeopardy! shared a post that’s part of their “Beyond The Clue” series. The posts help give more context to some of the game show’s more obscure clues. Last night, they shared a clue based on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. The book is the sequel to his 1865 classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
At a minimum, most will remember the Alice in Wonderland story from the 1951 animated Disney movie based on Carroll’s book. However, the sequel is lesser-known, and likely has some characters that many fans won’t remember. In Through the Looking-Glass, Carroll writes a nonsensical poem-within-a-novel about a monster called the Jabberwock.
The creature itself is not to be confused with the poem’s title “Jabberwocky.” Unfortunately, one contestant wrote down the poem’s name ending with a “Y” instead of the monster’s name without it, and her answer was deemed 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.
12-Year-Old ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Loses in Controversial Final Jeopardy Moment Because of Misspelled Word
Similar to last night’s contestant, another younger competitor learned the hard way about misspellings on the game show. In 2013, Jeopardy! received backlash because of a controversial final round moment that saw a 12-year-old boy lose money since he misspelled the answer.
Contestant Thomas Hurley III was one of the lucky participants in the annual Kids Week episodes that year. While competing in Final Jeopardy!, Hurley wrote the correct answer of “Emancipation Proclamation.” The clue shared that the answer is an 1863 document, which Abraham Lincoln called ‘a fit and necessary war measure.’
Yet the Newtown, Connecticut eighth-grader added an extra ‘T’ when he wrote ’emanciptation.’ The small error cost Hurley $3,000, and he looked like he couldn’t believe the game show’s ruling. In fact, many fans agreed with Hurley’s shock, with many calling the situation the saddest moment in Jeopardy! history.
Fans expressed their displeasure with host Alex Trebek and the game show for being such sticklers about Hurley’s spelling. Jeopardy! faced much criticism with many reminding the game show it’s not a Spelling Bee. Following the uproar, Jeopardy!‘s producers released a statement, which the Huffington Post relayed:
“If Jeopardy! were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show, and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment.”