Ken Jennings


March 12, 2014

I don’t think I ever linked to this goofy “Are You Smarter than Ken Jennings?” BuzzFeed quiz from last week. They took fifteen questions I got wrong on Jeopardy! back in the day and turned them multiple-choice. Beat my score of zero and you are smarter than Ken Jennings! Even if you flunk, you get a reassuring “You are just as smart as Ken Jennings!” message.

For the record, I am smarter than Ken Jennings, having gone for 15-for-15 on the BuzzFeed challenge. Nothing to cement a fact in your mind for all time like getting it wrong on national television!

Wordplay Wednesday! There are four U.S. states whose names rhyme with the name of a world nation. As a hint: two of the states also rhyme with each other, so there are really only three “rhyme sounds” to come up with.

Can you name all three rhymes? Ground rules:

  1. Rhymes must be exact, according to the first listed pronunciation in Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary.
  2. Rhymes must go back to the first stressed syllable. “Tennessee” doesn’t rhyme with “Haiti,” because it’s “HAY-tee,” not “hay-TEE.” “Wisconsin” doesn’t rhyme with “Benin”; an exact rhyme for “Wisconsin” would have to end in “-onsin.”
  3. Normal brief English country names. “France” with a short ‘a’, not “La Fraaance” or “French Republic.”
  4. No trivial cases. “New Mexico” does not rhyme with “Mexico.” “Georgia” does not rhyme with “Georgia.”

Edited to add: Answers (and some near misses!) in this thread.

Posted by Ken at 2:12 pm