WOF Retro Recap: January 13, 2009

EPISODE #4967: DREAM VACATION WEEK

$1,000 Tossup: PHRASE

I ‘ M / O N
_ _ / _ _ _

Nina says “I’M ON MY WAY” for the first grand. Tuesday’s gang…

Nina Stevenson: group home worker for the intellectually disabled from Poplarville, MS
Nykky Hourselt: University of Illinois senior majoring in Accounting who’s going for her Master’s Degree and CPA in her fifth year of college from Big Rock, IL
Dan Kardelis: RN (registered nurse) for intensive care and former firefighter of 4 yrs. from Boise, ID

$2,000 Tossup – IN THE KITCHEN

_ E _ _ U R I _ G
_ _ _

Dan solves MEASURING CUP.

FEATURED DREAM VACATION: Spain from Insight Vacations worth $9,500

Round 1 – LIVING THINGS

Dan gets that trip w/ four T’s. He dominates…

_ / _ I T T E _
_ _ / S I _ _ E S E
_ I T T E N S

…and solves A LITTER OF SIAMESE KITTENS for a total of $10,200 cash and trip.

PERFECT ROUND!

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Dan: $12,200
Nina: $1K
Nykky: $0

========

Jackpot Round – FUN AND GAMES (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Nina lands on Jackpot and puts up the T (Jackpot was at $6,800). After a lot of work, she says D for dud while on the WC. Nykky picks up that coveted MDW w/ a K, but then comes L for loss of turn. After that, Dan decides to go for the mystery trip…

B A S _ I N G / I N
T H E /_ A _ M
S U N S H I N E

He’ll be BASKING IN THE WARM SUNSHINE at the Hilton BARBADOS worth $6,820.

DUDS: D (Nina), L (Nykky)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Dan: $19,020
Nina: $1K
Nykky: $0

========

Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Nykky immediately duds out w/ S. Dan secondly lands on the Mystery Wedge next to LAT and lights up three N’s. He turns down the $3K…for the $10K! But he loses that and a $50 to BANKRUPT. Later, Nykky picks up the WC w/ two D’s, but then misses w/ M while on the other MW. Once Dan purchases the E, here’s the setup…

I R O N I N G
B O A R D / O _
E D _ _ A T I O N

I don’t think there’s such an organization called the IRONING BOARD OF EDUCATION, but Dan gets it right for the house minimum.

DUDS: S (Nykky), L (Nina), M (Nykky)
BANKRUPT: Dan

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Dan: $20,020
Nina: $1K
Nykky: WC

========

$3,000 Tossup – RHYME TIME

_ _ _ / R E _ L
_ E A _

This is THE REAL DEAL — Nykky finally breaks through for her first $3K.

Round 4 – PERSON

Nykky gets an early taste of LAT. Dan puts up more letters, but we shift into speed-up mode…

_ _ E R N _ _ _ T
S _ _ _ E S S

…and the remaining consonants are worth $1,300 each.

_ _ E R N _ _ H T
S U C C E S S

Nina isn’t necessarily an OVERNIGHT SUCCESS, but she does solve this puzzle for $2,600.

FINAL SCORES
Dan: $20,020 cash and trips
Nina: $3,600
Nykky: $3K and a worthless WC

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $26,620

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Dan’s envelope comes from the first A of AMERICA’S.

Category: THING
The second letter of it is…

_ E _ _ _
_ _ _ _

CPGO gives him…

P E _ C _
_ _ _ _

He only gets the first word of PEACH FUZZ, and he’s the second straight $30K loser. That sends him home w/ $20,020 cash and trips.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

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WOF Retro Recap: January 12, 2009

EPISODE #4966: DREAM VACATION WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – PHRASE

T A K E / _ O T S
O _ / _ I _ T U R E S

Laura knows that you would need to TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES on your dream vacation. And she’s the only female player on the following panel…

Laura Beavers: HS English teacher from Louisville
Jason Van Housen: air conditioning/sheet metal worker from Kapa’au, Hawaii (originally from Los Angeles)
Cameron Bellcastro : Naval special warfare instructor and a member of his branch’s basic training department from San Diego

$2,000 Tossup – PERSON

A S _ _ O N O _ E R

Cameron gets first control w/ ASTRONOMER.

FEATURED DREAM VACATION: Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Jason’s home of Hawaii worth $5,550

Round 1 – THING (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Cameron instantly lands on the Free SPIN, but says S for sorry. After Laura duplicates said letter, Jason’s first spin yields nothing but BANKRUPT. Cameron buys the only bad vowel of this puzzle (O), so we’re coming back to Laura. She picks up the Free SPIN + $600 w/ two L’s, but uses it right away after saying B for baddie. Next is a pair of twin I’s, and we turn to the following…

R I _ _ / _ _ L T _ R A L
_ E R I T A _ E

She solves this puzzle for $1K, and will see the RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE on her $6K caravan.com CENTRAL AMERICA TOUR. That round was worth $7K to her.

DUDS: S (Cameron), O (Cameron), B (Laura)
BANKRUPT: Jason
DQ: Laura’s S repeat

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Jason: $0
Cameron: $2K
Laura: $8K

========

Jackpot Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

After some work by Laura, she BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side to lose $1,600. Jason LATs out right after that. Cameron picks up the beachstore.com gift tag, but then misses w/ H. Laura picks things up from here…

I S T A N _ U _
T U R _ E _
D R U _ S T _ C _

…and eats up this ISTANBUL TURKEY DRUMSTICK for the house minimum.

SOLE DUD
: H (Cameron)
BANKRUPT: Laura
LAT: Jason

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Jason: $0
Cameron: $2K
Laura: $9K

========

Mystery Round – SHOW BIZ

Right away, Jason fills in two S’s while on the Mystery Wedge next to the MDW and declines the gamble (bad move — that’s the $10K one). Shortly after that, he says N for nothing. Cameron BANKRUPTS right after that. Laura misses w/ B, so we’re back to Jason. His non-MW gamble doesn’t matter, because he BANKRUPTS away $3,100. Cameron’s second turn has him landing on the other MW. He fills in the M…but he turns it over to lose his turn. Laura misses again w/ D while on $3,500. On Jason’s third turn, he lights up a $3,500 L, but then goofs w/ G. Cameron then picks up the Hawaii trip w/ Y. He spins one more time for the P, and we now have…

A / F A M I L Y / _ F
T R A P _ _ _
A R T I S T S

He gets A FAMILY OF TRAPEZE ARTISTS for a total of $5,850 cash and trip.

DUDS: N (Jason), B (Laura), D (Laura), G (Jason)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (both men including two by Cameron)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Jason: $0
Cameron: $7,850
Laura: $9K

========

$3,000 Tossup – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

_ _ _ Y _ _ G
_ _ _ _ _ – _ P

I wish the men were doing this, but Laura quickly solves PLAYING CATCH-UP to go to $12K.

Round 4 – PLACE (full $1,300 speed-up round)

S _ C R _ T
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ R T _ R S

Laura seals the deal w/ SECRET HEADQUARTERS for another $3,900.

FINAL SCORES
Jason: $1K gooseegg
Cameron: $7,850 cash and Hawaii
Laura: $15,900 cash and tour

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $24,750

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Out in Bonusland this week is a BMW X3. Laura lands on the E of GAME.

Category: THINGS
This one-word puzzle starts out as…

_ _ L _ _ R _ _ S

CDPO doesn’t do much…

_ _ L O _ R _ _ S

…and we don’t hear a guess from her. It was a unit of mass, KILOGRAMS, and she loses $30K. That sends her home w/ $15,900 cash and tour.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 9, 2009

Did they get their first BR SHUTOUT of 2009? Read on to find out.

EPISODE #4965: ARMED FORCES WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – PHRASE

_ R _ _ _ / A _ D
C E _ _ E _

Daniel TOTALLY BOMBS IT w/ BREAD AND CHEESE. Tom’s FRONT AND CENTER for the first grand. The last panel of the week has nothing but men…

Tom Finnemore: USMC staff sgt. from Oceanside, CA
Nick Maisonette: first-class petty officer in the U.S. Navy from Oak View, CA
Daniel Pagan-Bracero: E4 U.S Army tank mechanic from Ft. Irwin, CA (originally from Kissimmee, FL)

$2,000 Tossup – PERSON

_ _ E _ D
_ _ M _ N

Tom barely solves SPEED DEMON to triple his money.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: ski trip to Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, MT worth $9,900

Round 1 – FUN AND GAMES (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Midway in the round, Tom picks up the Free SPIN + $300 w/ an M. He dominates…

L I S T E N I N G
T O / A / M A R I A _ _ I
_ A N D / D U R I N G
D I N N E R

…and solves LISTENING TO A MARIACHI BAND DURING DINNER for $11,050 and a trip to the Hotel Dorado Pacifico in IXTAPA, MEXICO worth $5,370; he’s won $16,420 that round!

PERFECT ROUND!

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Daniel: $0
Tom: $19,420 + FS
Nick: $0

========

Jackpot Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Early on, Nick buys a bad vowel in A. Daniel secondly BANKRUPTS. Tom puts up a $3,500 F. He uses the Free SPIN after saying D for dummy…but then misses on top dollar w/ the G. After that, Nick lands on Jackpot and puts up the L! If he solves right now for a $17,600 Jackpot, it will be the biggest win since Sue Graves did it on December 23, 2008…

E L _ O _
R O O M
F OR / R E N T

BUT IT DOESN’T HAPPEN. Darn. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side to lose $1,550. Daniel spins once for the B…

E L B O _
R O O M
F OR / R E N T

…and solves ELBOW ROOM FOR RENT for the house minimum.

DUDS
: A (Nick), D, G (both by Tom)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Daniel, Nick)
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $18,100 (wow…)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Daniel: $1K
Tom: $19,420
Nick: $0

========

Mystery Round – LANDMARK

Daniel controls the entire round…

_ E T T _ S _ _ R _
N A T I _ N A L
_ I L I T A R _ /_ A R _

…and solves GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK for $3,750.

PERFECT ROUND #2!

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Daniel: $4,750
Tom: $19,420
Nick: $0

========

$3,000 Tossup – THING

P H O N _ _ I C
_ _ P H _ _ _ _

Nick finally gets off the schneid w/ PHONETIC ALPHABET.

Round 4 – AROUND THE HOUSE

Nick instantly duds out w/ S. Daniel secondly puts up two N’s, but we must go into speed-up mode…

_ _ _ N
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ N

…and the remaining consonants are worth $1,800 each.

C _ _ N
C _ L L _ C T _ _ N

Tom solves COIN COLLECTION for $1,800 and the win!

DUDS (both by Nick): S (before speed-up), P (during speed-up)

FINAL SCORES
Daniel: $4,750
Tom: $21,220 cash and Mexico
Nick: $3K

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $28,970

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Tom has been a hero while on the battlefield. Will he be the week’s savior? He lands on the M in GAME

Category: LIVING THING
He only gets this to start…

_ _ _ N _
_ _ _

M, D, P and A give him…

_ _ _ N _
P _ P

…two of a key consonant. Does he say YOUNG PUP?…

…YES HE DOES WITH FIVE SECONDS REMAINING! As a result, he wins $30K and leaves w/ $51,220 cash and Mexico!

MY EP. RATING: 8 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 8, 2009

EPISODE #4964: ARMED FORCES WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – ON THE MAP

Q _ A _ _ I C O
V _ _ _ _ _ _ A

Jeff solves QUANTICO, VIRGINIA fairly quickly. Thursday’s military bios…

Jeff Delzer: U.S. Navy lieutenant and radiation health officer from Chesapeake, VA
Amporn Pellegrino: Corporal tactical data network specialist from Sacramento
Mark Wilby: U.S Coast Guard machinery technician from Lakewood, CA

I guess that first Tossup was appropriate for a Virginia man like Jeff!

$2,000 Tossup – SHOW BIZ

O _ _ – A C T
_ _ _ Y

Amporn gives a nonsensical guess of ONE-ACT ONLY. That allows Jeff to solve ONE-ACT PLAY for the tripler.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: trip to the British Colonial Hilton Nassau in the Bahamas worth $6,250

Round 1 – PEOPLE

Jeff calls an early dud in T. Amporn puts up four S’s for $10K, but misses w/ H. Mark puts up some letters…

D R I _ E R S / A N D
_ A S S E N _ E R S

…before solving DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS for $2,450.

DUDS: T (Jeff), H (Amporn)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Amporn: $0
Mark: $2,450
Jeff: $3K

========

Jackpot Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Mark picks up that Bahamas trip w/ the G. Later, he picks up that MDW w/ a B. But after some work comes that LAT. Jeff controls the rest of the round…

H _ G H – H E E L E D
B O O T
C A M P

He avoids being sent to HIGH-HEELED BOOT CAMP for $2,050.

SOLE DUD: N (Amporn)
LAT: Mark

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Amporn: $0
Mark: $2,450
Jeff: $5,050

========

Mystery Round – LIVING THINGS (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Mark does most of the work before hitting LAT for the second time this episode. Jeff gets the same fate. Amporn spins once for a $600 C…

S E A / O T T E R S
S W I M M I N G
N E A R
I C E _ E R G S

…and she’ll be seeing SEA OTTERS SWIMMING NEAR ICEBERGS on her trip to the Millennium ALASKA worth $6,200. She’s on the board w/ $6,800 cash and trip.

LATs: 2 (both men)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Amporn: $6,800
Mark: $2,450
Jeff: $5,050

========

$3,000 Tossup – SONG TITLE

_ N _ _ _ _ S
A W _ I G H

Another fitting puzzle for Jeff — he sweeps the Tossups w/ “ANCHORS AWEIGH” (the official theme song of his branch!), putting him back into the lead w/ $8,050!

Round 4 – PHRASE

Early on, Jeff puts up a $5K H, but we have to go into speed-up mode w/ the remaining consonants worth $1,350 each. We fast forward to the point where only vowels are remaining…

T H E / T E N S _ N
_ S / M _ _ N T _ N G

THE TENSION IS MOUNTING and Amporn nails this puzzle for $9,450 and the win.

FINAL SCORES
Amporn: $16,250 cash and Alaska
Mark: $2,450
Jeff: $8,050

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $26,750

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Amporn lands on the first letter of her name, which happens to be the A in GAME.

Category: PHRASE
Up first in this puzzle…

_ _ _ R
E N _ _ _ _

HMCA adds…

_ A _ R
E N _ _ _ H

This should be FAIR ENOUGH for her to solve…but it doesn’t happen, so she’s the second Winnebago loser of the week. That sends her away w/ $16,250 cash and Alaska. 

 
MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 7, 2009

EPISODE #4963: ARMED FORCES WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – TITLE

_ H _ / R I G _ T
_ _ _ _ F

Jeff solves the Tom Wolfe novel “THE RIGHT STUFF”. Let’s meet him and the other troops…

Jeff Hough
: executive petty officer in the Coast Guard from Phoenix
Nicci Heard: Navy police officer from Deltona, FL (originally from Oregon)
Joe Starry: USAF staff sgt. from Honolulu (originally from Enterprise, AL)

$2,000 Tossup – LIVING THING

_ _ _ I A K
_ E _ _

Jeff’s two for two w/ KODIAK BEAR.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: $5K gift certificate from razorgator.com

Round 1 – SHOW BIZ

Jeff starts w/ four T’s for the Wild Card, but then gives it right back to BANKRUPT. Shortly after that, Nicci misses w/ G while on the vegas.com gift tag. Joe’s in control…

_ C T _ R – D I R E C T _ R
C _ I _ T
E _ S T _ _ _ D

…and he solves ACTOR-DIRECTOR CLINT EASTWOOD for $2,100.

SOLE DUD: G (Nicci)
BANKRUPT: Jeff

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Joe: $2,100
Jeff: $3K
Nicci: $0

========

Jackpot Round – PEOPLE (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Midway through the round, Nicci BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side to lose $1,350. Joe buys the only bad vowel of this puzzle (O). Jeff picks things up from here…

_ I R E /D A N _ E R S
A T / A / L _ A _

He pockets another $950 and will be seeing some FIRE DANCERS AT A LUAU on his trip to the Sheraton Kauai in HAWAII from Funjet Vacations worth $5,108. That round was worth $6,058 to him.

SOLE DUD: O (Joe)
BANKRUPT: Nicci

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Joe: $2,100
Jeff: $9,058
Nicci: $0

========

Mystery Round – SAME NAME

At the start, Joe picks up the razorgator.com gift certificate w/ an M. He dominates…

A I R C R A _ T / &
M A I _
C A R R I E R

…and solves AIRCRAFT & MAIL CARRIER for $7,350 cash and GC.

PERFECT ROUND!

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Joe: $9,450
Jeff: $9,058
Nicci: $0

========

$3,000 Tossup – RHYME TIME

D _ E S S /_ O R
S U _ _ _ _ _

Nicci knows that she had to DRESS FOR SUCCESS, so she’s finally breaks through.

Round 4 – AROUND THE HOUSE

_ O O S E /_ O W N
P I L L O W S

Joe solves GOOSE DOWN PILLOWS for $1,800, giving him $11,250.

DUDS: T (Nicci), R (Joe), A (Jeff), H (Nicci)

Round 5 – FICTIONAL CHARACTER (full $1,300 speed-up round)

_ L A T
S T A N L _ Y

Joe solves FLAT STANLEY for $3,900 and the win!

FINAL SCORES
Joe: $15,150 cash and GC
Jeff: $9,058 cash and Hawaii
Nicci: $3K

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS
: $27,208

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Joe lands on the E in GAME

Category: PERSON
This one-word puzzle starts out as…

S L _ _ _ _ _ E

M, C, F and A…are all DUDS. He doesn’t solve SLOWPOKE for $40K, and leaves w/ $15,150 cash and GC.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 6, 2009

EPISODE #4962: ARMED FORCES WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – TITLE

B _ _ D /_ _
B R O _ _ _ R S

Roy blanks out while Hunter gets the miniseries “BAND OF BROTHERS”. Tuesday’s servicemen…

Hunter Miller: Air Force Staff Sgt. from Wentzville, MO
Roy Hester: USMC captain for 23 years from Yucca Valley, CA
Erin Comstock: E5 second-class Navy member from Anaheim (originally from Livonia, MI)

$2,000 Tossup – LIVING THING

D _ _ _ – _ I L L _ D
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hunter’s quickly two for two w/ DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: trip to the Bellagio in Las Vegas worth $5,376 (includes tickets to see Bette Middler and dinner at Spago)

Round 1 – PHRASE (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Hunter immediately picks up the WC w/ an R. Two spins after that is a pair of T’s for the Tiger GPS gift tag, but next is L for loss of turn. Later, Erin puts up a $2,500 W, but she says M for miss. Hunter lands on the Vegas trip, but can’t pick it up w/ a dud of F. Roy finishes off the consonants…

T U C K E D / A W A Y
O N / A / Q U _ E T
S H _ R E

…solves this puzzle for $2,100, and will be visiting the place that’s TUCKED AWAY ON A QUIET SHORE — the Divi Carina Bay in ST. CROIX worth $6,100. He’s on the board w/ $8,200 cash and trip.

DUDS: L (Hunter), P (Roy), M (Erin), F (Hunter)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Erin: $0
Hunter: $3K + WC
Roy: $8,200

========

Jackpot Round – THINGS

Roy does some work before missing w/ P. Erin secondly BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side. Hunter puts up double N’s while on Jackpot, but he can’t make the solve for a $7,550 pot. His next spin yields BANKRUPT, costing him $1K and the WC. But we get back to him almost immediately…

F R E Q _ E N T L _
A S _ E _
Q _ E S T _ O N S

…and he comes up w/ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS for $1,600.

DUDS (both by Roy): P, M
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Erin, Hunter)
LAT: Erin

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Erin: $0
Hunter: $4,600
Roy: $8,200

========

Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

P E R _ _ N E N T
P R E S S / _ O _ R
_ _ _ _

Roy doesn’t spin, but he does solve PERMANENT “PRESS YOUR LUCK” for the house minimum.

DUDS: D (Erin), I (Hunter)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Erin: $0
Hunter: $4,600
Roy: $9,200

========

$3,000 Tossup – FICTIONAL CHARACTER

_ O _ A N / _ H E
_ _ _ _ A R I A _

Hunter IDs CONAN THE BARBARIAN, giving him $7,600.

Round 4 – PEOPLE (full $6,000 speed-up round!)

_ _ R _ _ S
P E R _ _ R _ E R S

Roy solves CIRCUS PERFORMERS for $30,000 (Hunter left said amount on the table)!

FINAL SCORES
Erin: $1K gooseegg
Hunter: $7,600
Roy: $39,200 cash and trip

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $47,800

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Roy lands on the N in WIN.

Category: PLACE
Let’s see some of the RSTLNE…

_ _ _ _ L E
_ _ _ _ E

CDWA gives him…

_ _ _ _ L E
A _ _ D E

He has nothing. The Winnebago won’t be sitting near his HUMBLE ABODE, but he leaves w/ $800 less than $40K.

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 5, 2009

On this first week of 2009, we saluted the men and women in uniform — it’s “Armed Forces Week”!

EPISODE #4961: ARMED FORCES WEEK

$1,000 Tossup – EVENT

R _ _ O R T I N G
F O _ / _ U T Y

Nick’s REPORTING FOR DUTY after getting on the board first. This is an all-male panel…

Nick LeMay: US Air Force Master Sgt. for 18 yrs from Satellite Beach, FL
Viktor Pejic: Army/National Guard member for 10 yrs (he’s a special forces communications sergeant) from Palm Bay, FL (originally from Yugoslavia)
Donta Wills: Navy 1st class petty officer from Burlington, IA

$2,000 Tossup – AROUND THE HOUSE

A _ _ R M
_ _ _ C _

This ALARM CLOCK tells Nick that he’s tripled his money and will be spinning first.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: a $5K Mexican Rivera Cruise from Princess Cruises

Round 1 – BEFORE AND AFTER

_ _ R D L E S S
D R I L L
S E R G E A N T

Nick dominates and solves CORDLESS DRILL SERGEANT for $6,450.

PERFECT ROUND!

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Donta: $0
Nick: $9,450
Viktor: $0

========

Jackpot Round – FOOD AND DRINK (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Early on, Viktor picks up the WC w/ a D, but he loses his turn w/ the P. Donta BANKRUPTS away $2,700, allowing Nick…

B L A C _ E _ E D
C A T _ I S H /_ I T H
_ _ M B _

…the chance to eat some BLACKENED CATFISH WITH GUMBO during his stay at the Hotel Monteleone in NEW ORLEANS worth $5K.

SOLE DUD: P (Viktor)
BANKRUPT: Donta

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Donta: $0
Nick: $14,450
Viktor: WC

========

Mystery Round – PHRASE

Donta fills in most of the puzzle, but he and Nick dud out w/ H and L, respectively (former was on the vegas.com gift tag). Viktor lights up a $3,500 S and quickly uses the WC to get more money from two T’s. But he then BANKRUPTS to flush away $10,850. Darn. After that…

S T A N _ A R _
_ _ E R A T I N G
_ R _ C E _ _ R E

Donta comes up w/ this STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE for $3,550.

DUDS: H (Donta), L (Nick)
BANKRUPT: Viktor

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Donta: $3,550
Nick: $14,450
Viktor: $0

========

$3,000 Tossup – ON THE MAP

_ _ G E _ I A / &
_ O _ _ _ _ O

Donta doesn’t come even close w/ GEORGIA & COLORADO. Viktor solves the African countries of ALGERIA & MOROCCO to finally break through.

Round 4 – THING (full $1,600 speed-up round)

T H E / T _ E N T _ –
F _ R S T / _ E N T _ R _

Donta knows that we’re currently living in THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY for $4,800.

(If you were paying attention to Viktor the first time you watched this episode, he refers to Tom every time he chose the T.)

FINAL SCORES
Donta: $8,350
Nick: $14,450 cash and New Orleans
Viktor: $3K

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $25,800

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
A Winnebago Access Motorhome was waiting to be won on this week of shows! Nick lands on the R in AMERICA’S.

Category: PHRASE
First up in this puzzle…

_ _ _ _ E
_ _ E R _ _ E

PCDA gives him three of said vowel…

A _ _ _ E
A _ E R A _ E

He doesn’t prove to be ABOVE AVERAGE in his puzzle-solving skills, so he loses $25,000. That sends him back to base w/ $14,450 cash and trip. No way this should’ve been lost.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: January 2, 2009

EPISODE #4960: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. #2)

This second week of extra episodes concludes on the set of “Holiday Shopping”.

$1,000 Tossup – THING

G _ F _
B _ _ K E T

Kristin puts her first grand into her GIFT BASKET. Friday’s players…

Kristin Rabbitt: graduate student at the UMass School of Teaching and a 5th grade teacher from Bedford, MA
Phylicia Breda: accountant from Houston, TX
Mike Hanson: financial services agent, a junior hockey coach and a former hockey player from Boise, ID

$2,000 Tossup – PHRASE

D R E S S / I N
_ A Y E R _

Kristin knows that when there’s cold weather outside, you need to DRESS IN LAYERS.

TRIP ON THE WHEEL: a $6K Safari West safari in California Wine Country

Round 1 – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Early on, Kristin picks up the Omaha Steaks gift tag w/ an R. She also picks up the Free SPIN + $600 w/ two S’s. Later, she buys the only bad vowel of this puzzle (E), prompting her to use the FS. After a lot of work, she BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side to lose $6,750 cash and steaks. Phylicia BANKRUPTS to give back $1,500. Mike spins once for a $300 L (ugh!)…

S H _ R I N G
_ I G I T _ L / P H O T O S
O _ / M _ / V _ C _ T I O N

He won’t be SHARING DIGITAL PHOTOS OF MY VACATION, but he will do said activity on his trip to the Presidente InterContinental in IXTAPA, MEXICO worth $5,700; he’s on the board w/ $6K cash and trip.

SOLE DUD: E (Kristin)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (both ladies)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Mike: $6K
Kristin: $3K
Phylicia: $0

========

Jackpot Round – FOOD AND DRINK

Phylicia duds out early on w/ the N. Mike lights up four D’s while on Jackpot, but he can’t make the solve for a $7,650 pot. After a moderate amount of work, he LATs out. Kristin captures the WC w/ four P’s…

_ H O _ O L A T E –
D I P P E D
D R I E D / _ R _ I T

…and solves CHOCOLATE-DIPPED DRIED FRUIT for the house minimum.

SOLE DUD: N (Phylicia)
LAT: Mike
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $7,950

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Mike: $6K
Kristin: $4K + WC
Phylicia: $0

========

Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Mike does most of the work before hitting his second LAT of the night. Kristin lights up the R’s for $10,500, uses the WC to get more money from an H…

P R _ T E I N
S H A _ E
R A T T L E
& / R _ L L

…and nails PROTEIN SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL for $14,700!

LAT: Mike

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Mike: $6K
Kristin: $18,700
Phylicia: $0

========

$3,000 Tossup – ON THE MAP

_ _ _ / C _ _ _ _ _ _ O
_ I _ _ R

Phylicia finally breaks through w/ a quick solve of THE COLORADO RIVER.

Round 4 – AROUND THE HOUSE

Phylicia fills in a few letters, but says D for dud. We now go into speed-up mode w/ the following…

_ _ _ R T _
_ E _ _ R A _ _ _ _ A

…and the remaining consonants are worth $6K each!

S _ _ R T S
M E M _ R A _ _ _ _ A

Mike better get this one, and he does w/ SPORTS MEMORABILIA for $12K! He still loses to Kristin by $700, though.

SOLE DUD BEFORE SPEED-UP
: D (Phylicia)
DUDS AFTER FINAL SPIN: N (Mike), H (Kristin)

FINAL SCORES
Mike: $18K cash and Mexico
Kristin: $18,700
Phylicia: $3K

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $39,700

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Kristin lands on the second A of AMERICA’S.

Category: ON THE MAP
This is all she gets to start…

_ _ _ _ / &
_ _ _ E N _ _

C, P, D and I give her…

_ _ _ _ / &
P _ _ E N I _

These are two cities in Arizona, and she can only get the second one of YUMA & PHOENIX. She loses the VW Tiguan and is out w/ $18,700. Even if she used the WC here and called the M, I still don’t think she would solve it.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: New Year’s Day 2009

EPISODE #4959: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. 2)

This first episode of  ’09 takes place on the set of “Wheel Across America”.

$1,000 Tossup – THING

D _ S K
_ _ _ E N _ A R

Mark solves DESK CALENDAR. The first players of 2009 are…

Mark Fitzhenry: writer and going to South Korea to teach English for a year from Keene, NH
Sheena Desole: nanny and Boise State student from Boise, ID
Marion Matwa: recent nursing school graduate from Sunrise, FL

$2,000 Tossup – FOOD AND DRINK

P I C K _ _ _ / &
S A _ E R _ _ A _ T

Mark eats up some PICKLES & SAUERKRAUT for control.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: a $5,000 bonus from V8 (if picked up, it will be donated to Feeding America)

Round 1 – ON THE MAP

Mark instantly hits LAT. Sheena’s first call of S is a dud. Marion BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side to lose $1,200. After that, Mark picks up the V8 prize w/ a pair of H’s. It’s all him from there…

T H E
_ P P _ L _ _ H _ _ _
T R _ _ L

…he solves THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL for a total of $6,750.

SOLE DUD: S (Sheena)
BANKRUPT: Marion
LAT: Mark

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Mark: $9,750
Sheena and Marion: $0 each

========

Jackpot Round – SAME NAME

At the start, Sheena’s S call fails her for the second round in a row. Marion picks up the Yankee Candle gift tag w/ two R’s, but loses it right back to the BANKRUPT between $900 and $600. Mark then BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side. Sheena picks up that MDW w/ the H. But after a lot of work, she fails miserably w/ the X to leave $1,950 and the MDW on the table. Marion spins once for a $600 Y (why?)…

H U M A N
A N D / R E L A Y
R A _ E

…and solves HUMAN AND RELAY RACE for the house minimum.

DUDS (both by Sheena): S, X
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Marion, Mark)
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $9,300

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Mark: $9,750
Sheena: $0
Marion: $1K

========

Mystery Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Marion picks up the Free SPIN + $900 w/ the L’s. She immediately uses the FS after hitting LAT, but then BANKRUPTS to lose $3,350. From here, it’s all Mark…

_ T R O L L I N G
B A R E _ O O T
A L O N G / T H E
B E A C H

He solves this puzzle for $1,750 and will be STROLLING BAREFOOT ALONG THE BEACH during his stay at Ginn Sur Mer on GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND worth $5,800; that round was worth $7,550 to him.

BANKRUPT: Marion
LAT: Marion

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Mark: $17,300
Sheena: $0
Marion: $1K

========

$3,000 Tossup – PLACE

_ _ S T O _ I C
_ A _ D M A _ K

Mark gets HISTORIC LANDMARK to go to $20,300.

Round 4 – PHRASE

Mark starts with the S and T’s, but time’s running out…

_ T ‘ S / _ _ _ _ _ / T _
_ _ / _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _

…and the remaining consonants are worth $1,400 each.

I T ‘ S / _ _ I N _ / T _
B _ / _ / _ _ _ D / _ _ _ R

IT’S GOING TO BE A GOOD YEAR for Mark, as he seals the deal w/ another $5K in cash!

DUDS: L (Marion), M (Sheena)

FINAL SCORES
Mark: $25,300 cash and trip
Sheena: $1K gooseegg
Marion: $1K

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $27,300

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Mark lands on the S in SPIN.

Category: FOOD AND DRINK
Let’s see some of that RSTLNE…

_ _ E _ _
L _ _ _ R _ _ E

CDBI might do it for him…

C_ E _ _
L I C _ R I C E

He eats some CHEWY LICORICE for another $25K! That gives him $50,300 cash and trip to take home!

MY EP. RATING: 8 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: New Year’s Eve 2008

EPISODE #4958: AMERICA’S GAME (WEEK #2)

This one takes place on the creepy Halloween set.

$1,000 Tossup – ON THE MAP

T _ _ _ S
S Q _ A _ E

It’s the home of ABC’s “Good Morning America”, and Rob solves TIMES SQUARE. The last players of 2008 are…

Rob Brosche: poker dealer and public speaker nicknamed Donk (he first got it while being a dealer) from Richfield Park, NJ
Jennifer Hobbs: Northwestern first-year grad student working on her PhD in Physics and a member of the university’s chorus from Naperville, IL
Jenny Galatello: part-time college student and marketer from Torrance, CA

$2,000 Tossup – PERSON

A M _ T E U _
_ _ V _ N _ O R

Jenny takes control of the wheel w/ AMATEUR INVENTOR.

TRIP ON THE WHEEL: Oahu at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa worth $6,010

Round 1 – FUN AND GAMES (PRIZE PUZZLE)

Jenny does most of the work and also picks up the WC, but she BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side to lose said item and $3,600. Rob puts up a few more letters…

L A U G H I N G / O U T
L O U _ / A T
L I M E R I _ _ S

…and he’ll be LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT LIMERICKS, because he’s won $2,100 and the $5,500 trip to IRELAND (courtesy of Aer Lingus Vacation Store) for a total of $7,600 that round.

BANKRUPT: Jenny

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Rob: $8,600
Jennifer: $0
Jenny: $2K

========

Jackpot Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Rob starts w/ an N while on Jackpot, but he then BANKRUPTS. Jennifer gets the same fate after putting up the pair of S’s for $1K. Jenny controls the rest of the round…

_ R A I S E _
C H U C _
N O R R I S

…and solves BRAISED CHUCK NORRIS for another $2,600.

BANKRUPTS
: 2 (Rob, Jennifer)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Rob: $8,600
Jennifer: $0
Jenny: $4,600

========

Mystery Round – PHRASE

Jennifer immediately calls for an S while on the Mystery Wedge next to LAT. Obviously, she’s going for it…but she’s BANKRUPTED for the second time this episode. Jenny then puts up the T’s for $10,500. After a lot of work, she buys the only bad vowel of this puzzle (I). Rob’s in control…

D O N ‘ T /_ E A T
A _ O _ N D / T H E
_ _ S H

I hope you DON’T BEAT AROUND THE BUSH, sir, because you earned another $1,750 w/ that solve.

SOLE DUD: I (Jenny)
BANKRUPT: Jennifer

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Rob: $10,350
Jennifer: $0
Jenny: $4,600

========

$3,000 Tossup – EVENT

F _ _ D / & / _ I _ E
_ _ S T _ V _ _

Rob solves FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL for a new total of $13,350.

Round 4 – SONG TITLE

Rob LATs out early on after putting up two pairs of T’s and N’s. Jennifer calls for singles in D and G, but it’s time for speed-up mode…

D _ N _ _ / T _ _
N _ G _ T / _ _ _ _

…and the remaining consonants are worth $6,000 each! Her next call is the pair of H’s…

D _ N _ _ / T H _
N _ G H T / _ _ _ _

She solves Van Halen’s “DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY” for $12,750!

LAT: Rob

FINAL SCORES
Rob: $13,350 cash and Ireland
Jennifer: $12,750
Jenny: $4,600

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: $30,700

========

$100,000 Bonus Round
Rob lands on the &.

Category: PHRASE
He’s given 1/3 of the puzzle to start…

_ L _ N _
L _ _ _

G, H, M and A are all DUDS. Solving this puzzle w/ no help would be BLIND LUCK…but it doesn’t happen for $25K. He leaves w/ $13,350 cash and Ireland.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10