Ken Jennings


August 22, 2006

poitier.jpgI haven’t reviewed all the numbers, but when over half the respondents get the Un-Google-able Seventh Question right, and almost a quarter answer every question correctly, then I know it was an easy Tuesday Trivia week.

I knew that this week’s seventh question didn’t require the usual mental contortions. It straightforwardly asked, “What do these people have in common: Jose Canseco, Patrick Ewing, Kelsey Grammer, Alexander Hamilton, the Empress Josephine, Camille Pissarro, and Sidney Poitier?”

I was so entranced by what I thought was the cool part of the question (that unlikely names like Alexander Hamilton, Josephine, Pissarro, and Kelsey Grammer! were Caribbean natives) that I didn’t fact-check one of the names on the list. Poitier’s from the Bahamas, right? He was even their ambassador to Japan for a while. No problem.

Well, yes and no. Poitier’s family was from Cat Island, but he was born two months premature while his parents were visiting Miami. Not only does this bode badly for my book tour next month (Mindy’s due in mid-November!) but it royally screwed up the trivia question. Many players saw that I’d made a mistake; others tried heroic contortions to make the Caribbean answer fit. (“All were born or raised in the West Indies,” etc.) My favorite was the two people who said the connection was “Parents of the Caribbean.”

So my apologies if that threw anyone off. I also admire the two players who said the answer must be “shots”…Canseco’s steroid shots, Ewing’s jump shots, Hamilton’s duel shot, etc. Very creative. My favorite answer: “They all had a baseball bounce off their heads for a home run, except the last six.”

I’d be surprised if Question Seven was as easy this week, but you people always surprise me…

Posted by Ken at 11:43 am