Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bob Mackey Prevails Yet Again At Westchester

Bob wins Westchester on TwitpicBob Mackey continued his dominance of the Westchester Crossword Tournament last evening at the new Westchester Table Tennis Center, beating second-place finisher Jeffrey Schwartz and third-place finisher Elaine Lippman by about two minutes on the Thursday, October 27 New York Times Crossword. Bob has now won four of the last five Westchester Tournaments, with the one off year being two years ago when Schwartz won. And the year prior to beginning his almost unbroken string, Bob and Dave won one of the team trophies and finished first on each of the first three puzzles.

Photos and additional details forthcoming.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pahk's "Jeopardy!" Run Ends; TOC Next

With no Daily Doubles to buttress his score, Joon Pahk failed in his eighth episode of "Jeopardy!" and leaves with $201,000 in cash and a Tournament of Champions berth. He will make his first TOC appearance on Friday, November 4.

Pahk now ranks sixth on the all time list of "Jeopardy!" money winners, not counting tournaments or other special events.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The $199,000 Answer: Who is Joon Pahk?

The oft-intersecting worlds of crosswords and game shows have been colliding for roughly the last week or so. Joon Pahk, B division winner of the 2010 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and also a constructor, has been making regular appearances on "Jeopardy!" and thanks to broad general knowledge and kamikaze wagering on Daily Doubles, has amassed $199,000 over his first seven appearances on the program. (Opponents found both Daily Doubles in the Double Jeopardy! round on Tuesday's program, but Pahk still made it a runaway.) As early as his second or third appearance on the program, Alex Trebek was already making comparisons to Ken Jennings, the show's all time money winner. Pahk can't say if he's still taping the show or how much he's won, but he's been reporting nightly on his adventures to his Facebook friends after the show has aired. Nancy Shack has been making his appearances available on YouTube; later today we'll post a complete list of links so you can track his progress.

It's generally held that the best showing by a crossword personality on a game show prior to Pahk's run has been that of Stanley Newman, the New York Newsday crossword editor, who won $112,480 (about $177,000 adjusted for inflation) on the 1991 program "The Challengers", hosted by Dick Clark and produced by game show master Ronnie Greenberg. (Yes, Jennings competed at Stamford in 2006 and won C division and rookie trophies - that was also the year I won the D trophy - but he hasn't been back to the tournament.)

There have been a number of other crossword and other puzzle folk who've been on "Jeopardy!" including Ellen Ripstein, Stella Zawistowski, and Scott Weiss, whose crafty wagering enabled the show's first and only three-way tie. Comment if you know of others and I'll add them to this post.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Jeopardy! Alert

The intersection set of crossword mavens and Jeopardy! contestants has grown by one. Joon Pahk made his first appearance on the program Monday evening and won his game. He will be back on tonight's show; check local listings.