WOF Recap: December 30, 2013

We’re back at the Palazzo to kick off our New Year’s Eve shows.


$1K Tossup: WAYD?

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

Luisa, the first to get on the board, and these two other players will help us in RINGING THE NEW YEAR

Luisa Martinez: USPS driver who’s been living in Vegas for 16 yrs. (orig. from El Paso, TX)
Jonathan Cairns: downtown engineering consulting firm worker (who’s also been playing intramural sports) from Chicago

Erica Yacus: baker and church member married to a Navy Pilot named George for 4 yrs. from S.D. (orig. from Chesapeake, VA)

$2K Tossup: PLACE

_ _ G I N E
R O O _

Luisa triples up w/ ENGINE ROOM.

FEATURED TRIP: Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, CA w/ Carmel Food Tour worth $7,690
1/2 CAR OF THE WEEK: ’14 Chevrolet Spark


Luisa starts w/ T for terrible while on the 1/2 CAR near $900. Second, Jonathan calls a $400 S, buys three I’s, lights up two M’s for $800, but then BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side to lose $950. Third, Erica puts up a $300 N but then gets the exact same fate as the man. Luisa tries again w/ a $450 V, three O’s, and three L’s for another $900, then she buys E and A singles before BANKRUPTING near $650 to give back the $600 remainder. Afterwards, Jonathan puts up the remaining consonants of H, P and K (first worth $600, last two worth $350 apiece). The board now…

I ‘ M / I N / L O V E
I ‘ M / A L L
S H O O K / _ P

He solves “I’M IN LOVE, I’M ALL SHOOK UP” for $1,300.

SOLE DUD: T (Luisa)
3 (entire panel)

Scores after R1
Jonathan: $1,300/Erica: $0/Luisa: $3K


Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

The man’s first picks are a $900 pair of S’s, but then the sole dud vowel of E. Second, Erica takes three T’s for $1,200, but then LOSES A TURN. Third, Luisa uncovers triple R’s for $2,100, buys three I’s, and picks up the 1/2 CAR near $900 w/ two F’s. After that, she buys an A but then duds out w/ M. After Jonathan gets shafted by the same normal BANKRUPT to toss aside $650…

_ _ S I _ _
_ _ _ R / F I R S T
T _ _ T _
F A I R _

…Erica solves LOSING YOUR FIRST TOOTH FAIRY for $1,200 when she could’ve gone for the Y’s.

DUDS: E (Jonathan), M (Luisa)
BANKRUPT: Jonathan
LaT: Erica

Scores after R2
Jonathan: $1,300/Erica: $1,200/Luisa: $3K

Not that great of a game so far…


PP/Express Round: FOOD & DRINK

The lady in the middle is up first w/ a $600 T and three N’s for another $1,500, then she buys two O’s, two A’s and an I. After that are a $600 pair of F’s, four E’s, but then the same normal BANKRUPT to clean her out of $1,700. Luisa next inserts a $300 M, two U’s, and a $1,600 pair of B’s, then we see…

B _ U E / M O U N T A I N
_ O F F E E / B E A N _

She’s won another $1,650 and will try some BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE BEANS during her stay at the Sandals Grand Riviera Beach & Villa in JAMAICA w/ the NEX-5R worth $7,399.


Scores after R3
Jonathan: $1,300/Erica: $1,200/Luisa: $12,049 cash & prizes


$3K Tossup: EVENT

_ _ L I D A Y
_ _ _ T Y

Luisa sweeps the Tossups w/ HOLIDAY PARTY.

Round 4: PHRASE

She first calls three T’s for $1,800, buys three E’s, but then LaTs out. After that, it’s all Jonathan…

T H E / T A B _ E _
A R E / T _ R N _ N _

THE TABLES ARE (possibly) TURNING in his favor — he’s added another $2,550 to his overall bank.

LaT: Luisa

Scores after R4
Jonathan: $3,850/Erica: $1,200/Luisa: $15,049 cash & prizes

Round 5: IN THE KITCHEN (full $1,900 speed-up)

After Erica calls an S early on…

_ _ _ _ – _ _ _ _ _ _ _
S T _ _ _

COAL-BURNING STOVE is a great guess, but not right. I can tell you right now that this puzzle should remind you of a trainwreck Speed-Up Round from Oct. 16, 2008. Luisa next calls two N’s…

_ _ _ _ – _ _ _ N _ N _
S T _ _ _

…but OLD-BURNING STOVE isn’t gonna work. Jon next requests an R…

_ _ _ _ – _ _ R N _ N _
S T _ _ _

FIRE-BURNING STOVE is soooo wrong. The obvious G gets put up by Erica…

_ _ _ _ – _ _ R N _ N G
S T _ _ _

…and she gets WOOD-BURNING STOVE for another $3,800.

DQs: 3 (wrong answers by the panel)

Jonathan: $3,850/Erica: $5K/Luisa: $15,049 cash & prizes

GRAND TOTAL: $23,899


$100K Bonus Round
The $35+ Camaro provided by AutoNation (and won twice during premiere week) is back in play for this week’s shows. Luisa picks up the C envelope.

Category: PHRASE
Her starting info…

_ E _ _ N _
_ _ R _ S

CDHI adds just two of the D’s…

_ E _ _ N D
_ _ R D S

I’m not BEYOND WORDS at all, because she doesn’t even get the second word right and she loses the $30K.

$5K SPIN ID: JJ3440763

MY EP. RATING: 5 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 31, 2010


$1,000 Tossup – AROUND THE HOUSE

C _ _ _ P _ G _ E
G L A _ _ E _

Kristen solves CHAMPAGNE GLASSES. And now, the last three aired players of 2010…

Kristen Zosche: Montclair State Univ. graduate student studying international literature & freelance writer from Cedar Grove, NJ
Holly Walczak: celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary from Vegas (originally from Erie, PA)
Jym Bagtaz: office manage by day and a punk rock drummer by night from Wilmington, MA

$2,000 Tossup – THING

F _ _ _ Y
B _ N E

Jym tickles that FUNNY BONE of his to begin the night’s spinning.

FEATURED TRIP: MacArthur Place in Sonoma Valley, CA worth $5,500

Jackpot Round – EVENT

Jym begins w/ three A’s on FP. Later, he gets the WC w/ a Y. After he next purchases the I, we have the following…

_ A T _ H I _ _ / T H E
_ E _ / Y E A _ ‘ S / E _ E
_ A _ _ / _ _ _ _

We’ll all be WATCHING THE NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL DROP after he’s won another $2,400. He was being too conservative, though, as you can see what he left out.


Pre-Round 2 Scores
Kristen: $1,000
Holly: $0
Jym: $4,400



Kristen’s up first w/ a $400 R, but then the BANKRUPT near $900. Second in line, Holly has chosen two S’s for $1,400, the backloading E, a $500 N, and three A’s. After that purchase are a $900 L, two I’s, a FP O, and three C’s for another $1,350. We now have…

C R I S _ _ / C _ I _ S
A N _ / _ _ A C A _ O L E

After solving this puzzle for $3,400, she’ll be eating some CRISPY CHIPS AND GUACAMOLE while at the Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort & Spa in NUEVO VALLARTA worth $5,620; she’s on the bard w/ $9,020 cash and trip.


Pre-Round 3 Scores
Kristen: $1,000
Holly: $9,020 cash and N.V.
Jym: $4,400


Mystery Round – SHOW BIZ

This round is all Holly…

_ E _ E _ I S I O N
& / R _ _ I O / _ O S _
R _ _ N / S E _ _ R E S _

He’s been the host of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” since 2006, and she knows that’s TELEVISION & RADIO HOST RYAN SEACREST for $6,100.


Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Kristen: $1,000
Holly: $15,120 cash and N.V.
Jym: $4,400


$3,000 Tossup – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

M _ K _ _ G
A / T O A _ T

Jym will be MAKING A TOAST after this episode’s done; right now, he has $7,400.

Round 4 – PHRASE

The man immediately hits LaT. Kristen secondly fills in a $350 R, two E’s, and three $600 T’s, but there’s not much time…

T _ E / _ R _ T _ _ _
_ _ / _ _ / T _ E / _ _ _ _

Each of the remaining consonants are worth $1,500.

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

Jym says “THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL” for $3,000.


Kristen: $1,000
Holly: $15,120 cash and trip
Jym: $10,400



$100,000 Bonus Round
Holly lands on the three-star space.

Category: THING
Just this much to start in this fairly big puzzle…

_ _ _ _ _ R _ _ N _
_ _ S _ _

MCDI are all up there…

_ _ C _ _ R _ _ N D
M _ S I C

She wins and she’ll be listening to the BACKGROUND MUSIC in her 2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT worth $30,719! In addition to the $5K bonus, she closes out ’10 as a winner of $50,839 cash and prizes!

MY EP. RATING: 8 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 30, 2010

Previously, Vishal squandered his $100K opportunity and missed out on becoming the highest male winner this season. Let’s try to recover from that.


$1,000 Tossup – PHRASE

_ A _ _ Y / _ S
A / C L A _

Austin (a female) is totally off w/ ______ AS _ CLAY.

H A _ _ Y / A S
A / C L A _

Scott’s HAPPY AS A CLAM, so he’s on the board first. We have two men and a lady competing tonight so let’s meet them right now…

Scott Davidson: HS math teacher from Raleigh, NC
Austin Musick: actress & fitness model from Santa Monica, CA
Richard Luthiger: elementary P.E. teacher from Vegas

$2,000 Tossup – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

S _ I F T I N G
G E _ _ _

Scott’s SHIFTING GEARS, so he’s two for two.

FEATURED TRIP: the Hontel Monteleone in New Orleans worth $5,000

Jackpot Round – FOOD AND DRINK

Scott wastes a turn w/ the BANKRUPT near top dollar. Second, Austin calls a $900 T, FPs two A’s, picks up the WC w/ an N, but then calls H for halt while on Jackpot. Third, Richard’s chosen two S’s for $900 and triple E’s. From here, it’s all him…

_ L A _ E – B R O I L E _S I R L O I N / S T E A K

…and he solves FLAME-BROILED SIRLOIN STEAK for $3,950.

SOLE DUD: H (Austin)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Richard: $3,950
Scott: $3,000
Austin: $0 + WC


Round 2 – SAME NAME

Here goes Austin w/ a $550 T but then N for nothing. Second, Richard just barely slides past the MDW and gets its left-side BANKRUPT. Third, Scott picks up the Gourmet Foodstore gift tag w/ an R, then come to S’s for $1,800, three E’s, two $600 H’s, two O’s and a pair of L’s for another $1,600. The board…

S H E R L O _ _& / _ _ T _ E
H O L _ E S

He SHERLOCK & KATIE HOLMES for $5,100 cash and gift tag.

SOLE DUD: N (Austin)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Richard: $3,950
Scott: $8,100
Austin: $0 + WC



Richard leads off w/ a $300 T but then the same normal BANKRUPT the other man got. Scott secondly calls two N’s for $1,200 and buys four I’s, then he inserts two G’s for $1,200, but then BANKRUPTS on the other side of the MDW to give up $2,150 (both men have two BANKRUPTS apiece). Third, Austin spots a $900 D, a V for the N.O. trip, a single U and a $3,500 R, but she DOESN’T use her WC at that point. Next up are a $900 L, three A’s, and a couple of S’s via the MW neat LaT. She adds the two grand for those to her current bank of $7,800 (good, because that’s the BANKRUPT one). After that, she puts up a $3,500 F and uses her WC this time to call a single F. Here’s the lowdown on this puzzle now…

S _ U _ A / D I V I N G
A _ _ N G
T R _ P I _ A L / F I S _

…BUT SHE BLOWS THE SOLVE BIG TIME BY ONE LOUSY LETTER w/ SCUBA DIVING ALONG TROPICAL FISH; She very likely threw away at least $18,800 cash and New Orleans. Richard then puts up two C’s and an M (each one worth $800), and the board now says…

S C U _ A / D I V I N G
A M _ N G
T R _ P I C A L / F I S _

He’ll be SCUBA DIVING AMONG TROPICAL FISH during his stay at the Divi Carina Bay Resort in ST. CROIX worth $6,700. Austin’s late blunder costs her a total of $25,500 cash and trips in that round alone; ugh.

BANKRUPTS: 2 (both men)
DQ: Austin’s blown solve

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Richard: $13,050 cash and St. Croix
Scott: $8,100


$3,000 Tossup – LIVING THING

P _ _
H _ _ S T _ R

Richard solves PET HAMSTER, giving him $16,050.

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

After Richard puts up two of the first letter of his name early on…

_ _ _ _ / _ _ _ / _ _ N
_ R _ _ _ / _ _ / _ _ R

…he gives a hilarious missolve w/ MIAMI DOLPHINS WIN THE SUPER BOWL“! LOL! That actually fits under HEADLINE (we haven’t seen that category in a long time). He gets another shot w/ this new setup…

B _ B Y / Y _ _ / _ _ N
_ R _ _ _ / _ Y / _ _ R

He gets “BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR” (from the Beatles) for $24,000!

DUDS: T (Richard), L (Scott), F (Austin)
DQ: Richard’s missolve

Richard: $40,050 cash and trip
Scott: $8,100 cash and gift tag



$100,000 Bonus Round
Richard lands on the A in GAME.

Category: THING
Just the last letter to start…

_ / _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ E

CDMA won’t do him much, if not at all..

A / _ _ _ _
_ _ _ C E

He DOESN’T solve this puzzle A HIGH VOICE when he needed to, so he loses the $50K. But he still goes home w/ $40,050 cash and trip.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10 (Austin really ruined it for me in R3)

WOF Retro Recap: December 29, 2010


$1,000 Tossup – FUN AND GAMES

S _ O R I _ G
_ / _ _ A L

Sarah’s SCORING A GOAL that’s worth her first grand, and let’s meet the midweek panel…

Sarah Lengyel: promotional model from Vegas (originally from Spokane, WA)
Valerie Trindle: hair stylist from Charleston, SC
Vishal Desai: private academic tutor and vocal percussionist who graduated from a massage therapy school from Buffalo Grove, IL

$2,000 Tossup – PROPER NAME

B _ _
S T _ L _ _ R

Valerie solves actor BEN STILLER.

FEATURED TRIP: San Francisco’s Palace Hotel worth $5,200

Jackpot Round – EVENT

First, Valeries calls a $500 N via Jackpot and a $900 G, then she buys two I’s and four A’s, and FPs the sole dud vowel of E. Following that minor roadbloack are a $300 R but then S for sorry. Second in line, Vishal puts up three T’s for $2,700, buys the leftover vowels of two O’s and U’s, calls a $300 F, and BANKRUPTS near $900 to lose $2,500. Third, Sarah picks off twin L’s and B’s ($600 and $500, respectively) for a total of $2,200…

_ U L L I N G / A
R A B B I T / O U T
O F / A / _ A T

…and she solves the popular magic trick PULLING A RABBIT OUT OF A HAT.

DUDS (both by Valerie): E, S

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Valerie: $2,000
Vishal: $0
Sarah: $3,200



Vishal BANKRUPTS near top dollar right out of the gate. Second, Sarah’s been roadblocked by the R. Third, Valerie FPs triple I’s, lights up a $3,500 M, buys a single E, but then gets DQed for repeating the R. Vishal then goes for a quick solve…

I ‘ M / _ _ _ _ I _ _
_ _ / _ _ _ _ _ I _ E

He’s right w/ Katrina & The Waves’ “I’M WALKING ON SUNSHINE” for a $6,700 trip to the Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa in JAMAICA.

SOLE DUD: R (Sarah)
DQ: Valerie’s R duplication

Pre-Round 3 ScoresValerie: $2,000
Vishal: $6,700 Jamaica trip
Sarah: $3,200


Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Sarah leads off w/ three T’s for $2,700 and a couple E’s. But after some work is a dud purchase of O. Valerie secondly calls a $300 G, a W for the S.F. trip, and two S’s via the MW near the MDW. Surprisingly, she gambles $5,500 cash and trip…BAD MOVE. Third, Vishal inserts R and D singles ($400 apiece for those), a $500 C and the last vowel of two A’s. After that come a $550 B, two L’s for another grand…

B E L L _D A N C I N G
W I T H / T H E

…and his $2,650 solve of BELLY “DANCING WITH THE STARS”.

SOLE DUD: O (Sarah)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Valerie: $2,000
Vishal: $9,350 cash and Jamaica
Sarah: $3,200


$3,000 Tossup – FOOD AND DRINK

S _ _ A W _ _ _ _ Y
_ _ _

Valerie’s wrong w/ STRAWBERRY TEA while Vishal also whiffs w/ STRAWBERRY PIE.

S _ R A W _ _ R R Y
_ _ M

Sarah solves STRAWBERRY JAM, giving her $6,200.

Round 4 – PERSON (full $1,500 speed-up round)

M _ S T / _ _ L _ _ _ L E
P L _ _ E R

Vishal proves to be the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER in this game, so he’s won another $3K worth of icing on his cake. 

DUDS: N (Vishal), C (Sarah)

Valerie: $2,000
Vishal: $12,350 cash and trip
Sarah: $6,200

TOTAL MAINGAME WINNINGS: an underwhelming $20,550


$100,000 Bonus Round
Vishal lands on the E in AMERICA’S.

Category: PHRASE
This one-liner begins as…

_ _ _ _ E R / _ _

BCMA doesn’t do much…

_ _ C _ E R / _ _

…and he’s way off w/ ROCKER BY and HOCKER BY, so he will PUCKER UP and kiss this goodbye…

…$100,000 — HE’S THE FOURTH SUCH LOSER THIS SEASON (and third all-time in Vegas). That sends him packing w/ $12,350 cash and trip. He played that VERY BADLY.

MY EP. RATING: 3 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 28, 2010


$1,000 Tossup – EVENT

C _ C _ T _ I L
_ _ _ T _

David solves COCKTAIL PARTY. This is Day 2 of “New Year’s Eve” from Las Vegas, and here are the profiles of tonight’s contestants…

David Drachman: recently got his Master’s in forensic psychology from Seattle, WA (originally from Philadelphia)
Stephanie Beals: real estate agent from Henderson, NV (originally from Chicago)
Marquise Woods: HR journalist for a non-profit agency from Compton, CA

$2,000 Tossup – AROUND THE HOUSE

_ O R _ H
L _ _ _ T

Stephanie turns on this PORCH LIGHT to commence the night’s spinning.

FEATURED TRIP: the Kimberly Hotel in NYC worth $7,900

Jackpot Round – SHOW BIZ

Stephanie instantly BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side. Marquise is up second w/ three FP E’s, a $300 T, a $550 H and three A’s. Later, she gets the Gourmet Goodstore gift tag w/ three S’s, buys a U, but then calls a baddie of Y to probably cost her $2,900 cash and GT. Third in line, David puts up a $450 K, picks up the WC w/ two F’s, and two L’s for a grand before he sees…

F R A N K _ E_ A L L _ / &
T H E / F O U R

The musical “Jersey Boys” is based on the lives of this group, and David solves FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS for $1,450.

SOLE DUD: Y (Marquise)
BANKRUPT: Stephanie

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Stephanie: $2,000
Marquise: $0
David: $2,450

(Said music group plays us to the first commercial break.)



Marquise is up first w/ a $550 R, a $600 T, two A’s, three S’s for another $2,100, but then the same MDW BANKRUPT to wipe the $3K off her screen. Second, David uncovers two N’s for a grand but then gets the BANKRUPT near $900 to give that amount right back along w/ the WC. Third, Stephanie gets the other normal BANKRUPT after calling a $300 G (that’s her second such hit of the game). Marquise tries again w/ a $300 M, two E’s, and a pair of Y’s and we have…

G R E Y ‘ SA N A T _ M Y
_ E S S _ N

She learns this “GREY’S ANATOMY” LESSON for her first $1,050.

BANKRUPTS: 3 (entire panel)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Stephanie: $2,000
Marquise: $1,050
David: $2,450



At the start, David’s been hit by that same BANKRUPT of the MDW (he also has two of those this game). Second, Stephanie takes two N’s for $1,800 and a G via the MW near LaT. She goes for it…but she’s BANKRUPTED for the third time this episode. Third, Marquise says T for terrible, so we’re back to David who makes these letters appear — three $550 R’s, an I and two A’s, an $1,800 pair of F’s, triple O’s and twin S’s for $1,800. Here’s the board…

S _ O _ _ I N GF O R / A / N _ _
S _ R F _ O A R _

We hope David’s SHOPPING FOR A NEW SURFBOARD, because he just won $4,500 and a trip to The Royal Hawaiian Resort in OAHU worth $6,500.

SOLE DUD: T (Marquise)BANKRUPTS: 2 (David, Stephanie)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Stephanie: $2,000
Marquise: $1,050
David: $13,450 cash and HI


$3,000 Tossup – FOOD AND DRINK

_ _ E _ R Y
_ _ B B _ _ R

David eats some CHERRY COBBLER, giving him $16,450.

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

_ I R _ – _ R _ _ T _ I N G
D R _ G _ N S

David slays these FIRE-BREATHING DRAGONS for a $24,000 payoff! Both ladies left $18,000 each on the table.


Stephanie: $2,000
Marquise: $1,050
David: $40,450 cash and trip



$100,000 Bonus Round
David lands on the apostrophe.

Category: PHRASE
Couple of possibilities for this one…

_ N / T _ E
_ _ _ _ L E

He’s looking good after calling BGCO…

O N / T _ E
_ O _ B L E

…and he easily solve this one ON THE DOUBLE for the $35K and a final total of $75,450 cash and trip!

MY EP. RATING: 9 out of 10 (started out slow but things really picked up in R3)

WOF Retro Recap: December 27, 2010

Before we get to S31’s “New Year’s Eve”episodes, let’s take a look back at how said theme week went three years ago.


Guest Announcer This Week: Jim Thornton

$1,000 Tossup – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

_ _ E A _ I _ G
_ H _ / _ C E

Susann’s BREAKING THE ICE for her first grand. Playing at the Palazzo first this week are…

Susann Reiff: was single for 25 years until marrying her soulmate in Sarasota Beach, FL from Lenexa, KS
Audrey Ryder: advertising coordinator from Indianapolis
Andrew Coleman, Jr.: loan officer of a credit union from Vegas

$2,000 Tossup – PERSON

M A N / O _
M _ S _ _ R Y

Andrew only gets MAN OF.

M A N / O F
M _ S _ _ R Y

Audrey IDs that MAN OF MYSTERY to begin the night’s spinning.

FEATURED PRIZE: trip to the Riviera South Beach Hotel in Miami, FL worth $7,250

Jackpot Round – EVENT

The maingame categories this week are revealed by a pair of noisemakers causing fireworks to go off.

Audrey’s first spin is a fairly weak one and it fittingly lands on the BANKRUPT near $900. Second, Andrew takes two T’s for a $1K start, two $800 R’s, three $500 S’s and a $300 M, then he buys three A’s an and I, lights up a $500 C and picks up the ShinDigZ gift tag w/ an H. After buying two E’s to round out the vowels…

A _ T E R -C H R I S T M A S
S A _ E

…he solves AFTER-CHRISTMAS SALE for $4,300 cash and party supplies


Pre-Round 2 Scores
Andrew: $4,300 cash and GT
Susann: $1,000
Audrey: $2,000



The man has an insta-LaT. Second, Susann sees three T’s pop up for $1,500 but gives it right back to the same normal BANKRUPT. Third, Audrey spots two H’s for $600 and two N’s to triple up, then she buys six E’s but then a worthless O. Back to Andrew who plugs in two R’s for $800, but he then BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s right side. After Susann LOSES A TURN, Audrey picks off two F’s for $800, buys the rest of the vowels (one A, three I’s) and picks up the Miami trip w/ an L. Here’s what we have now…

T H E / _ E _ T
T H I N _ _ / I N
L I F E / A R E / F R E E

She solves Frank Sinatra’s “THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE” for $1,600, the Miami trip, and a second trip to The Springs Resort & Spa in COSTA RICA worth $6,500, making her total this round $15,350.

SOLE DUD: O (Audrey) 
LaTs: 2 (Andrew, Susann)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (the same players who hit LAT)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Andrew: $4,300
Susann: $1,000
Audrey: $17,350 cash and trips


Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Hoping for a better round, Susann begins w/ a $300 S, but then N for nada while on the MW near LaT. Second, Audrey gets two R’s up there for $1,100, buys three E’s, but then LaTs out. Third in line, Andrew has chosen three T’s for $2,700, four L’s for another $1,600, three O’s, two $550 H’s, and a K while on the other MW. He puts $5,150 at risk…that’s the right one! To add $15,150 to his bank…

_ H O _ O L _ T E
S H _ K E
R _ T T L E / & / R O L L

He successfully does a CHOCOLATE SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL!

SOLE DUD: N (Susann)
LaT: Audrey

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Andrew: $19,450
Susann: $1,000
Audrey: $17,350 cash and trips


$3,000 Tossup – SAME LETTER

_ _ I C _ S / &
_ _ _ N _ S

Susann doesn’t get pummeled by these STICKS & STONES, meaning she now has $4,000.

Round 4 – IN THE KITCHEN (full $1,500 speed-up round)

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

Andrew solves PRESSURE COOKER for $6,000 and the victory!

DUDS: T (Susann), H, N (Audrey)

Andrew: $25,450 cash and party supplies
Susann: $4,000
Audrey: $17,350 cash and trips



$100,000 Bonus Round
The Chevrolet Camaro from the start of the season is back in play all week long. Andrew lands on the I in WIN.

Category: THING

Almost half the letters already…

_ _ N _
T _ _ E L

CDMO fills in two more blanks…

_ _ N D
T O _ E L

…but he BLOWS IT w/ POND TOWEL, FUND TOWEL and KIND TOWEL. He could’ve cleaned up the Camaro w/ a HAND TOWEL, but he’s sent home w/ $25,450 cash and party supplies. This should NOT have been lost.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10 (thanks to that bad loss)

WOF Retro Recap: December 24, 2010 — BR SHUTOUT ALERT #2


$1,000 Tossup – THINGS

P _ N E
N E _ _ L _ S

Laura solves PINE NEEDLES. Let’s meet everybody on this Christmas Eve…

Laura Kitzman: aesthetician from Kanasas City, MO
Kevin Bogaki: muscle car owner from Charlotte, NC
Cristina Raymundo-Tejedor: architectural designer from Los Angeles

$2,000 Tossup – FOOD AND DRINK

_ _ _ _ I _ D
Y A _ S

Laura is two for two w/ CANDIED YAMS.

FEATURED PRIZE: a $5,000 Michael C. Fina gift certificate

Jackpot Round – SONG LYRICS

This round is all Laura…

_ _ T / _ T / S N O _
_ _ T / _ T / S N O _
_ _ T / _ T / S N O _

She solves “LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW” for $5,900.


Pre-Round 2 Scores
Cristina: $0
Laura: $5,900
Kevin: $0

Holiday Greeting #1: art dept.



The PP chimes didn’t go off all week long. Anyway, Kevin instantly duds out w/ T. After that, it’s all Cristina…

D E E _ – S E A
E _ _ U _ S I O N

She solves this puzzle for $3,050 and a DEEP-SEA FISHING EXCURSION on Amelia Island in FLORIDA worth $5,302, making her total this round $8,352.

SOLE DUD: T (Kevin)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Cristina: $8,352 cash and FL
Laura: $8,900
Kevin: ZIP

Holiday Greeting #2: post-production dept.

Mystery Round – PEOPLE

Cristina, who’s close to Laura’s lead, gets this one going w/ a $300 T, a $900 S, the purchase of three E’s, but then A for awful. Second, Laura makes an N appear while on the MW near LaT and she obviously goes for it…$10K! Next up are three R’s for $1,800, an I purchase, a $500 G, but then the other dud vowel of this puzzle (O) to probably cost her $11,800. Third, Kevin plugs in a $550 L and the leftover vowels of two U’s. He follows up w/ two D’s for $900 and four M’s for another $1,200, then we’re looking at…

T _ E L _ E

They’re another gift from “The 12 Days of Christmas”, and he solves “TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING” for $2,400.

DUDS: A (Cristina), O (Laura)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Cristina: $8,352 cash and FL
Laura: $8,900
Kevin: $2,400


$3,000 Tossup – PHRASE

N _ / _ _ S E _ B _ Y
R _ Q _ I _ E D

Laura has nothing, so no Tossup sweep for her.

N O / A S S E _ B _ Y
R _ Q _ I _ E D

Cristina solves the toy disclaimer “NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”, giving her the lead w/ $11,352 cash and trip.


First from Cristina are three N’s for $900, an I buy, and two obvious G’s for $800, but the A lets her down again. Second for Laura are a $300 S and an O triplet to round out the vowels, a $5K T, and a $900 R. The board…

_ O _ I N G / O N

She’s COMING ON STRONG w/ another $5,950, and she’s back in the lead w/ $14,850!

SOLE DUD: A (Cristina)

Round 5 – IN THE KITCHEN (full $1,500 speed-up round)

F _ _ _ – S _ _ _ D
B L _ N D _ R

Laura solves FIVE-SPEED BLENDER for $4,500 and the win!

DUDS: T (Kevin), C (Laura), H (Kevin)

Cristina: $11,352 cash and FL
Laura: $19,350
Kevin: $2,400



$100,000 Bonus Round
If Laura is unsuccessful here, Ebenezer Scrooge will be knocking on the front door of SPS to collect the unclaimed Bonus Round winnings for the third time in four seasons. She lands on the I in SPIN.

This is all she gets to start…

_ _ _ _ N _
_ _ _ _

DGMI pretty much gives her the first word…

G I _ I N G
_ _ _ _

Does she know that this holiday season is a time of GIVING BACK?…

…YES — SHE’S A HERO! She wins $35,000 and leaves w/ $54,350 all in cash!

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 23, 2010


$1,000 Tossup – SONG TITLE

D E _ _ / _ H E
_ A _ L S

Brian solves “DECK THE HALLS“. And now, the Thursday trio…

Brian Ott: diagnostic laboratory salesman from West Newbury, MA
Ashley Ford: post-production company worker from Santa Monica, CA
Carmen Davis: executive assistant to the VP of academic affairs at a community college, professional shopper, and youth leader at a church from Country Club Hills, IL

$2,000 Tossup – PEOPLE

_ _ N T S / _ _ D
U N _ _ _ _

Brian is two for two w/ AUNTS AND UNCLES.

: Durango, CO worth $5,585

Jackpot Round – FOOD AND DRINK

This round is all Brian…

H O T / O A T _ E A L
_ _ _ I N _ L E _
W I T H / _ _ O W N
_ _ _ A _



Pre-Round 2 Scores
Both women: $0 each
Brian: $9,600


Round 2 – SAME NAME

Ashley’s first call of an S is a dud. Second, Carmen calls a $900 T, buys two E’s, but then BANKRUPTS near $900 to lose the $650 leftover. Third, the early leader puts up a $550 N, three R’s for another $1,500, two O’s, a $450 H and a FP A to round out the vowels. Next up are an L for The Maids gift tag, a $500 P, but then M for mistake while on the WC. After Ashley wastes another turn w/ the other normal BANKRUPT, Carmen gets the remaining pair of B’s for the house minimum…

N O R T H / &

…and correctly reads the above.

DUDS: S (Ashley at the start), M (Brian)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (both ladies)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Carmen: $1,000
Brian: $9,600

Holiday Greeting #1: audio/camera dept.



The lady in the middle is off and running w/ two S’s for $600 and an E buy before she lands on the MW near the MDW twice in a row. She calls two T’s and an H, and declines the risk both times (unfortunately, that’s the $10K one). It’s all her from here…

N O W / T H E
_ A R T Y ‘ S / I N
F U L L / S W I N G

NOW THE PARTY’S IN FULL SWING — she’s won $9,600 and a $6,100 trip to the Rincon Beach Resort in PUERTO RICO, giving her $15,700 that round!

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Ashley: COAL
Carmen: $16,700 cash and P.R.
Brian: $9,600


Holiday Greeting #2: Promotions dept.

$3,000 Tossup – OCCUPATION

M _ T _ O _ _ _ O G _ _ T

Ashley finally gets on the board w/ METEOROLOGIST.

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

_ / G _ G G L _
_ _ / G _ _ S _

Brian solves A GAGGLE OF GEESE for $6,400, but he still loses by $700.

DUDS: T (Carmen), R (Brian), N (Carmen)

Ashley: $3,000
Carmen: $16,700 cash and trip
Brian: $16,000



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

Category: THING
Like Tuesday’s bonus puzzle, here’s the last two letters…

_ _ _
_ _ _ _ R E

PCHO are totally useless…and she WON’T be claiming this WAX FIGURE worth $40K, so she’s out w/ $16,700 cash and trip.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 22, 2010


$1,000 Tossup – TITLE

F _ O _ _ _ / T H E
_ _ _ _ _ A _

Kristin solves “FROSTY THE SNOWMAN“. It’s bio time…

Kristin Malinowski: sales/operations worker who plans to become a sports psycholgist from Boston
Chaunsea Keller: VP of a hospitality marketing company from Lawrence, KS
Daniel Douglass: Marine Corps Captain, pilot and flight instructor from Corpus Christi, TX (originally from San Diego, CA)

$2,000 Tossup – THINGS

_ E N E R O U S
_ O N _ _ _ _ N S

Kristin’s two for two w/ GENEROUS DONATIONS.

FEATURED PRIZE: a $5,000 Pier 1 Imports shopping spree

Jackpot Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Kristin immediately BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side. Secondly, Chaunsea stats her run w/ a $600 N, three G’s for $1,500 more, two I’s, and three A’s, a $500 R but then the sole negative vowel of E. Third, Daniel gets the same fate as Kristin, so we’re back to the lady at the end. She puts up two T’s for a grand only to lose it right back to the BANKRUPT near $900. On Chaunsea’s second try, she buys two O’s, lights up a $900 C, but then gets the same normal BANKRUPT to give back $2,500. Daniel spins once for two $900 P’s…

_ _ I P P I N G
T _ R O _ G _ / A
C A T A _ O G

He’s FLIPPING THROUGH A CATALOG for said amount, but he could’ve gone for the H’s and L’s.

SOLE DUD: E (Chaunsea)
BANKRUPTS: 4 (everybdy including two by Kristin)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Chaunsea: $0
Daniel: $1,800
Kristin: $3,000

Holiday Greeting #1: production dept.



Chaunsea starts off w/ $7K worth of two T’s, and O purchase, two S’s for $1,200, four E’s, but then M for mistake to probably lose at least $7,700. Second, Daniel picks up the MDW w/ two L’s, then he’s called a $3,500 D, four I’s, another $3,500 single in K, and two A’s to clean out the vowels. But he then BLOWS HIS TURN w/ the R to throw away $6,500, the MDW, and the bonus vacation. Kristin fills in those last two consonants (a $500 N and an $800 W)…

I ‘ D / L I K E
T O / S E E / A
W I N E / L I S T

She reads the above for $1,300 and a $6,000 trip to the Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in NAPA VALLEY.

DUDS: M (Chaunsea), R (Daniel)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Chaunsea: ZIP
Daniel: $1,800
Kristin: $10,300 cash and Napa

Holiday Greeting #2: licensing/clearing dept.


Mystery Round – SONG LYRICS

Daniel, who squandered his chances of becoming a millionaire late last round, starts this answer w/ two T’s for $600, four R’s for a x4 multiplier, and buys all of the available vowels in one fell swoop. After that is S for strikeout. Kristin then spins once for a $600 pair of P’s…

A _ _ / A
P A R T R I _ _ E
I _ / A / P E A R

…and solves “AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE” (from “The 12 Days of Christmas”) for the house minimum when she could’ve gone for the N’s and D’s…

SOLE DUD: S (Daniel)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Chaunsea: COAL
Daniel: $1,800
Kristin: $11,300 cash and trip


(The last Christmas greeting of the night comes from the prize/production department.)

$3,000 Tossup – PLACE

D _ I R Y
F A _ _

Kristin sweeps all the Tossups w/ DAIRY FARM, giving her $14,300.


First from Kristin’s mouth are a $400 T but then R for roadblock. Chaunsea secondly makes double S’s appear for a grand, but she then BANKRUPTS near $900 for the second time this episode. Third, Daniel gets four N’s up there for $3,600, buys two I’s, but then loses his turn w/ the sole negative vowel of E. Kristin then calls those C’s for $600…

C I N N _ _ _ N
S T I C _ _ / _ _ N S

…and solves CINNAMON STICKY BUNS for another grand and $15,300 overall.

DUDS: R (Kristin), E (Daniel)
BANKRUPT: Chaunsea

Round 5 – PERSON

Chaunsea immediately BANKRUPTS near $900 for the third time this game. Daniel (now nametag-less) secondly fills in the T’s for $1,800, but it’s Speed-Up Mode time…

_ _ T
_ _ _ _ _ _ T _ _

…and the remaining consonants are worth $1,500 each. Kristin lights up two R’s…

_ R T
_ _ _ _ _ _ T _ R

…but she goofs w/ ART INSTRUCTOR. Chaunsea next repeats the dud of S said by Daniel. Speaking of Daniel, he misses again w/ an N. Kristin’s next w/ two L’s…

_ R T
_ _ L L _ _ T _ R

This time, she’s right w/ ART COLLECTOR for another $6,000 and the victory!

DUDS (both after Final Spin by Daniel): S, N
BANKRUPT: Chaunsea
DQs: 2 (Kristin’s missolve, Chaunsea’s S duplication)

Chaunsea: $1K LUMP OF COAL
Daniel: $1,800
Kristin: $21,300 cash and trip



$100,000 Bonus Round

Kristin lands on the N in WIN (the normal envelope ding and jingling bells are both heard).

Category: PHRASE
Her starting information…

S _ _ _ T
_ _ _ N

DMGO can only give her the second word…

S _ _ _ T
D O _ N

…and she doesn’t SQUAT DOWN for the $30K. That sends her home w/ $21,300 cash and trip.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: December 21, 2010



_ _ E N E _ E R
_ _ _ O _ G E

John solves EBENEZER SCROOGE. Going from left to right again…

John Sly: communications specialist for an air medical helicopter as well as a firefighter and a roller coaster enthusiast from Coatesville, PA
Lashan Laguan: realtor during the day and a singer at night who’s also a mentor from Florence, MS
Katelynn Winkler: Arizona State Univ. law student from Mesa, AZ

$2,000 Tossup – SHOW BIZ

_ O _ _ E
_ _ U N _ _ _ A _ K


FEATURED TRIP: trip to the Cova Hotel in San Francisco (w/ tickets to “Beach Blanket Babylon”) worth $5,670

Jackpot Round – FOOD AND DRINK

Lashan instantly BANKRUPTS near $2,500. Katelynn secondly gets roadblocked by the R. Third, John calls two N’s for $600, buys three A’s, lights up an L pair for $800 and purchases four E’s before uncovering triple P’s for $7,500. But after he then cleans out the vowels, he LOSES A TURN to likely give back $7,900. Back to Lashan who picks off three H’s for $2,400…

H O N E _ – _ L A _ E _H A _ / _ I _ H


SOLE DUD: R (Katelynn)
LaT: John
BANKRUPT: Lashan at the start

Pre-Round 2 Scores
John: $1,000
Lashan: $4,400
Katelynn: $0



First, Katelynn calls her second straight dud in S. Second in line, John makes a $450 T and three A’s appear, then he’s chosen three W’s for $2,700, buys an O and five I’s, picks up that MDW w/ two N’s and purchases four E’s. Here’s the layout of this big puzzle…

I / W O N ‘ T / _ E
_ _ E _ _ I N _ / _ _
E – _ A I _ / W _ I _ E
I ‘ _ / A W A _

He blows the fourth word w/ “I WON’T BE READING MY E-MAIL WHILE I’M AWAY” to possibly kiss $2,150, the MDW and the bonus trip goodbye. After that bad moment, Lashan gets an $1,800 pair of C’s up there…

I / W O N ‘ T / _ E
C _ E C _ I N _ / _ _
E – _ A I _ / W _ I _ E
I ‘ _ / A W A _

…and she says “I WON’T BE CHECKING MY E-MAIL WHILE I’M AWAY” to add a trip to he the Pueblo Bonito Rose Resort & Spa in CABO worth $5,957.

: S (Katelynn)
DQ: John’s blown solve

Pre-Round 3 Scores
John: $1,000
Lashan: $12,157 cash and Cabo
Katelynn: ZERO

Holiday Greeting #1: Control room


Mystery Round – WHAT’S THAT SONG?

John starts w/ two A’s on FP. After a lot of work, he calls four H’s while on the Mystery Wedge between $300 and $800. He doesn’t risk $3,100, and he decides to solve now…

O H / _ H A T / _ U N
I T / I _ / T O / _ I _ E
I N / A / O N E – H O _ _ E
O _ E N / _ _ E I _ H

He redeems himself w/ “OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE IN A ONE-HORSE OPEN SLEIGH” for $7,100. Had he went for that MW…he would’ve gone BANKRUPT! And he knows that these lyrics are from “Jingle Bells”, meaning he’s won $10,100 that round!


Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
John: $11,100
Lashan: $12,157 cash and Cabo
Katelynn: COAL


(The other greeting of the night comes from the contestant coordinators.)

$3,000 Tossup – PERSON

_ _ _ E L E S S
R _ _ A N T _ C

Katelynn finally gets on the board w/ HOPELESS ROMANTIC.

Round 4 – PLACE

After starting w/ the letters spelling THE, Katelynn buys the only bad vowel of this puzzle. John next fills in a $550 R and an O, but time’s running out…

_ _ _ E R / T H E
_ _ _ T _ E T O E

Each of the five remaining consonants are worth $1,300. John’s next consonant call is an M…

_ _ _ E R / T H E
M _ _ T _ E T O E

…and he solves UNDER THE MISTLETOE for $1,600 and the victory by $543!

SOLE DUD (before Final Spin): A (Katelynn)

John: $12,700
Lashan: $12,157 cash and trip
Katelynn: $3,000



$100,000 Bonus Round
John lands on the N in SPIN (we hear bells jingling when one of the 24 envelopes get picked up this week).

Category: THING
The last two letters of this answer…

_ _ _
_ _ _ E R

MPCI are all DUDS…and he DOESN’T take this JOB OFFER of solving this puzzle for the Tiguan (he thought it was FOG COVER), so he’s out w/ $12,700.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10