Monday, October 14, 2013

That's a big cow!

So the clue was : since 1970 annual production of this per cow has grown from around 10,000 pounds to around 20,000.

She guessed "meat". The answer is "milk". And I get it: who thinks of milk in terms of pounds instead of gallons?

But really, meat? That would mean that cows were more than twice as big now as they were in 1970. That would have been pretty noticeable, I'd have thought...



At 8:31 PM, October 14, 2013 Blogger Barry Leiba had this to say...

It's easy to second-guess, but remember that when they're on the show, they don't just have to answer the questions: they also have to beat the others at the buzzer, and then answer in the few seconds they're given after that. That means that the though process is compressed and is optimized for the typical case.[1]

So this sort of thing probably comes down to a thought process that's like, "Cow... pounds... *meat*... buzz," just picking out key points. At home, we have the luxury of a lot more analysis, even as we watch.

[1] Remember that even if the category is "South American exports," the answer might really come down to, "fruit apes eat." That's also why they sometimes get tripped up by not paying enough attention to the category, when it's perhaps even worse to think about it too much.

At 11:07 PM, October 14, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Apparently she never read "Land of Milk and Money"!

At 7:44 PM, October 15, 2013 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Of course, Barry, which is why I'm not a contestant. But the only things it's fun to notice are in the quadrant of I-knew-and-they-didn't.

At 9:31 PM, October 15, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Some contestants seem to buzz in first, then hope to heck they can think of the answer, er question, before the clock runs out.

At 10:02 AM, October 16, 2013 Blogger Barry Leiba had this to say...

Yeh... I knew a guy at IBM who was on J! for one day, and didn't do as well as he'd expected to. His report afterward was that buzzer technique, including the balance of when to buzz vs how sure you are of the answer and the category, was the most important key to success. And he didn't achieve it.

At 8:49 PM, October 16, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Another thing that boggles the mind is that I understand when "Jeopardy!" is in production, they do five shows a day, five days a week. Just imagine Ken Jennings' stamina during his 70+ game win streak -- although I believe there happened to have been at least one break between weeks when he was on. Still, I'd never make it physically...


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