WOF Retro Recap: February 21, 2011

Another one of their beach-related week began — it’s “Sand & Sea”.


Animated Intro: A message from a bottle that shows us the title of this theme week. We then see Pat & Vanna kayaking, and the show’s logo appears on the sun.

Jim Thornton is back for another week of guest-announcing.

$1,000 Tossup – PLACE

_ I D E

Jacquelyn blows it by one letter with STARBOARD TIDE. Nobody else has a chance to buzz in, so we have the first UNSOLVED TOSSUP of the season. The answer was STARBOARD SIDE. Anyway, let’s meet the first players of this week…

Jacquelyn Johnson: contract specialist from Belton, TX
Lisa Priester: 1st grade teacher from Charleston, SC
Matt Hanson: car auction company and hockey referee (he also plays said sport) from Fargo, ND

$2,000 Tossup – LIVING THING

_ _ _ T T I S H
_ _ _ R I E _

Jacquelyn is right this time with SCOTTISH TERRIER.

FEATURED TRIP: a Regent Seven Seas European Cruise worth $8,999


First, Jacquelyn quickly duds out w/ T while on the eBags.com gift tag. Second, Lisa calls up a $600 N, buys three E’s, lights up a $300 R, and buys an I, but next is a bad purchase in A. Third, Matt picks off two G’s for $600 and buys three O’s to shut down the vowel shop, then he adds on two D’s for $1,200, S and K singles ($300 apiece for those), and we’re now looking at…

G R E E K / G O D
_ O S E I D O N

He solves GREEK GOD POSEIDON for $2,150.

DUDS: T (Jacquelyn), A (Lisa)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Jacquelyn: $2,000
Lisa: $0
Matt: $2,150



This round is all Lisa…

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

She wins another $1,450 and will be ENJOYING A PICNIC AT THE VINEYARD for while at MacArthur Place in SONOMA VALLEY, CA worth $5,500; she’s on the board with $6,950 cash and trip.


Pre-Round 3 Scores
Jacquelyn: $2,000
Lisa: $6,950 cash and CA
Matt: $2,150


Mystery Round – BEFORE AND AFTER

Matt leads off w/ a $300 R, but then LOSES A TURN just as quick. Second, Jacquelyn picks up the cruise w a T, calls up three N’s for $1,800, and buys two A’s and three E’s before picking up the gift tag w/ a D. Later, she finds a G while on the MW near LaT and obviously doesn’t risk over $14K cash and stuff (the $10K was on the back, however). But after a lot of work, the MDW’S LEFT-SIDE BANKRUPT COMES BY TO WIPE OUT $15,599 CASH AND PRIZES. DARN. Lisa then takes twin P’s for $600…

F O O T L O O S EA N D / F A N C Y –
S _ I P P I N G

…and solves FOOTLOOSE & FANCY-FREE SHIPPING for the house minimum.

LaT: Matt
BANKRUPT: Jacquelyn

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Jacquelyn: $2,000
Lisa: $7,950 cash and CA
Matt: $2,150


$3,000 Tossup – PERSON

T _ _ M
_ _ _ T _ I N

Lisa’s acting like a TEAM CAPTAIN; she now has $10,950 cash and trip.

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

_ _ R _ _ _ _
L _ N _ _ L N

This is a former U.S. president who appears on the copper penny, and Matt nails ABRAHAM LINCOLN for $18,000! Jacquelyn left behind $12,000 in this round.

DUDS (both by Lisa): T, S

Jacquelyn: $2,000
Lisa: $10,950 cash and SV
Matt: $20,150



$100,000 Bonus Round
The vehicle available this week is a Jeep Wranger Unlimited Sport. Matt lands on the I in AMERICA’S.

Category: EVENT
Decent RSTLNE start…

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

CPMA adds a little more help…

M E _ _ C A L
_ R E A _ T _ R _ _ _

…but MEDICAL TREATMENT is sooo wrong. He doesn’t come up w/ this $30K MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH, so he leaves with $20,150.

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10


WOF Recap: January 30, 2014


$1K Tossup: THING

P _ _ _ _ / _ E _ R

Rob gets POLAR BEAR CLUB. Our next big money hopefuls are…

Rob Mrozinski: market research company director who visited Disneyland before coming to SPS from Hackettstown, NJ
Megan Bendtzen: drug seller for animals who’s currently writing a book from Lomita, CA

Katie Hoody: piano teacher, freelance pianist and musicology grad student at Univ. of North TX who also blogs her mom’s battle w/ ovarian cancer from Garland, TX
$2K Tossup: EVENT

_ U I L _ _ _ G / A
_ O _ F _ R E

Katie’s BUILDING A BONFIRE for control.

FEATURED TRIP: Alaskan Cruise from American Cruise Lines worth $9K


Katie wastes a spin w/ the BANKRUPT near $650. Second, Rob LOSES A TURN. Third, Megan picks up the 1/2 CAR near $300 w/ two T’s, but then says R for roadblock while on the Aspen Ski and Board.com gift tag. Katie’s second turn has her putting up three H’s, buying four E’s, and saying N for no while on the other 1/2 CAR. After Rob LaTs out for the second straight time, Megan lights up two S’s for a grand, buys three O’s and picks up the GT this time w/ three L’s. After she then buys two A’s…

T H E / _ A L L
O _ / T H E
_ _ L _ –
_ O O S E / _ H A S E

She hears THE CALL OF THE WILD-GOOSE CHASE for $4K cash and GT.

DUDS: R (Megan), N (Katie)
LaTs: 2 (Rob)

Scores after R1
Megan: $4K cash and GT + 1/2 CAR/Katie: $2K/Rob: $1K


Mystery Round: SAME LETTER

Rob wants the first letter of his name, but that’s a dud for the second round in a row. Second, Megan has the same fate w/ a T call while on the 1/2 CAR near $900. Third, Katie calls up a $900 N but then buys a worthless vowel in E. Back to Rob who puts in three L’s for $1,500, buys two A’s and I’s, but then loses the $1K remainder to the MDW’s left-side BANKRUPT. After Megan gets the same normal BANKRUPT to lose her plate, Katie takes an $800 G but then buys the other dud vowel of this puzzle (O). Rob next picks up the MDW w/ an S, but then says H for halt. On Megan’s third try, she spots three $650 P’s, buys the leftover U and lights up a $300 C, but then comes B for bad. Once Katie gets the other normal BANKRUPT to give up $1,200, Rob makes five F’s appear while on the MW near $800 and takes the money for those (it would’ve worked, though). The board…

F L U F F _
F L A P _ A C _ S

He’s FLIPPING FLUFFY FLAPJACKS for the five grand.

DUDS: R (Rob), T (Megan), E (Katie), O (Katie), H (Rob), B (Megan)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (entire group)

Scores after R2
Megan: $4K cash and GT/Katie: $2K/Rob: $6K + MDW

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (Family Week on Feb. ’98 from Vegas): EVENT
This pair chose PDWO…

D _ _ _ R E _ _

…but didn’t solve DAYBREAK.


PP/Express Round: WAYD?

Megan starts this crucial round w/ five N’s for $4K only to give it right back to the BANKRUPT near $650. From here, it’s all Katie…

_ A S _ I N G / I N
T H E / _ A _ I A N T

She’s won another $4,100 and will be BASKING IN THE RADIANT SUNSHINE at the Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa in NICARAGUA w/ the NEX-5T worth $8,199. 


Scores after R3
Megan: $4K cash and GT/Katie: $14,299 cash & Nicaragua/Rob: $6K + MDW


$3K Tossup: THE 90’s

_ _ M _ / _ _ O _ E

Katie solves “HOME ALONE”.

Round 4: PHRASE (full $1,500 speed-up)

H _ W / T H _ / W _ _ T
W _ _ / W _ _

Katie seals the deal w/ HOW THE WEST WAS WON for $9K.


Megan: $4K cash and GT/Katie: $26,299 cash & prizes/Rob: $6K

GRAND TOTAL: $36,299
BANKRUPT TRASH (plate excluded): $6,200


$100K Bonus Round
Katie lands on the P. 

Category: THING
Here’s how we begin…

_ _ T S _
_ _ _ _ _ E

GCHO is a PERFECT combination…

G _ T S _
C H O _ C E

That was indeed a GUTSY CHOICE of letters by this lady, and let’s hope her envelope has something big…

…but it’s that bloody $30K again, so she’ll have to settle for $56,299 cash & prizes.

$5K SPIN ID: DF9212785

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10 (despite a long R2)

WOF Recap: January 29, 2014



S _ L _ _ _

Mike has caught a piece of ALASKA SALMON. Now fishing for big winnings at SPS are…

Mike Courtois: autism therapist from Albuquerque
Tameaka Brown: client relatiohsip manager for a healthcare compliance company from Charlotte, NC
Jenn Sgroi: event planner/production worker from Burbank (born in Somers, NY)

$2K Tossup: TV TITLE

C R _ _ I _ _ L
M _ _ _ _

Mike triples up w/ the CBS crime drama “CRIMINAL MINDS”.

FEATURED WH: Collette Vacations tour of the Alps worth $8,498

Round 1: WAYD?

Mike first picks up the Green Mountain Coffee gift tag w/ an N, but that and the $500 are taken right back by the BANKRUPT near $650. Second, Tameaka picks up the WC w/ a G and exchanges the $500 for an I and two A’s, then she picks up the 1/2 CAR near $900 w/ two T’s and buys the rest of this puzzle’s vowels (four E’s and an O) before saying a baddie of K. Third, Jenn calls a hot consonant in R for $7,500

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

…and she’s READING A THERMOMETER to take the early lead.

SOLE DUD: K (Tameaka)

Scores after R1
Jenn: $7,500/Mike: $3K/Tameaka: WC


Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Tameaka loses her WC right away to that same normal BANKRUPT. Second, Jenn calls up two R’s for $1,600 but then buys a worthless A. Third, Mike spots a $900 S, buys three E’s, but then BANKRUPTS on the MDW’s left side to lose the $650 remainder. Once Tameaka regains control, she lights up two T’s for $900, a $500 H, and two O’s before finding two N’s while on the MW next to LaT. She risks $1,150…but she BANKRUPTS again. Jenn then lights up a $300 F, buys four I’s to clean out the vowels and says a $400 L, then we see this…

S I R L O I NT I _
O F / T H E
I _ E _ E R _

She’s not at the SIRLOIN TIP OF THE ICEBERG in this game yet, but she’s pocketed another $1,800.

SOLE DUD: A (Jenn)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (Tameaka 2x, Mike)

Scores after R2
Jenn: $9,300/Mike: $3K/Tameaka: ZILCH


PP/Express Round: THING

Jenn gets off to a bad start w/ the other MDW BANKRUPT. Mike secondly takes an $800 S, two R’s for a grand, and buys three E’s and an A, but he then gets the exact same fate as Jenn to give back $1,300. Third, Tameaka wants two $500 N’s, buys the rest of the vowels, and calls up two L’s for $1,600 before getting the BANKRUPT near $650 to toss aside $1,850; that’s her third one this evening. After Jenn puts up three M’s for $1,500 and a $800 C…

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

…she’s won another $2,300, the NEX-5T and maybe a COMPLIMENTARY LIMOUSINE RIDE on her Hotwire.com trip to The Palazzo in LAS VEGAS w/ tickets to “Human Nature” and Rock of Ages” worth $5,699.

BANKRUPTS: 3 (entire panel)

Scores after R3
Jenn: $17,299 cash & Vegas/Mike: $3K/Tameaka: NO LUCK

$3K Tossup: FOOD & DRINK

K _ _ _ D I K E
_ A _

Complete this well-known commercial query — “What would you do for a ________ ___?”; Jenn knows that’s a KLONDIKE BAR to break the $20K barrier.

Round 4: PHRASE

This round is all Jenn…

I ‘ M / B A _ _ / I _
T H E / _ A M E

…she wrongly admits “I’M BACK IN THE GAME” in a good way for $1,950. 


Scores after R4
Jenn: $22,249 cash & Vegas/Mike: $3K/Tameaka: BAD SHAPE

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

C _ _ N T _ R T _ P
M _ C R _ _ _ _ _

Jenn successfully cooks up an additional $4,500 in a COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE.

DUDS: S (Jenn), L (Mike), D (Mike)

Jenn: $26,749 cash & goodies/Mike: $3K/Tameaka: $1K GOOSEEGG

GRAND TOTAL: $30,749
BANKRUPT TRASH (excluding WC): $6,450 cash & coffee


$100K Bonus Round
Jenn takes the E envelope of AMERICA’S.

Category: THINGS
These are the summer months of the calendar year…

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

CMBA adds besides the obvious A…

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

not too much more and she doesn’t get JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST for $35K.
$5K SPIN ID: SO9258212

MY EP. RATING: 7 (Jenn was a pretty good player, IMO)

WOF Recap: January 28, 2014


$1K Tossup: ON THE MAP

_ _ _ / Y U _ _ N
T _ R _ _ _ _ _ Y

This is in Canada, but it’s definitely NOT NEW YUKON TERRITORY according to Melissa.

_ _ _ / Y U K O N
T _ R R I T _ R Y

Conley also messes up w/ OLD YUKON TERRITORY.

_ H E / Y U K O N

Melanie finally gets THE YUKON TERRITORY. Again, going from left to right in interviewing the contesti…

Melanie Barcley: professional guardian for mentally and/or physically challenged people and works for an attorney from St. Petersburg, FL
Conley Patillo: experiential leadership educator and tutor from Gary, IN
Melissa Hicks: editor for a book publisher from Pasadena, CA (originally from MN)

$2K Tossup: PHRASE

_ N / A
_ U _ S _ _ _ L

Conley gets this one IN A NUTSHELL.

FEATURED WH: Lexington at Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming worth $5,239

Round 1: PERSON

He leads off w/ a $300 S, a single E, but then N for no while on $2,500. From here, it’s all Melissa…

_ A _ _ _ ‘ S

She says she’s “DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL” for $4,500 when she could’ve gone on for the D’s.

SOLE DUD: N (Conley)

Scores after R1
Melanie: $1K/Conley: $2K/Melissa: $4,500


Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Melissa first FPs a dud in A and calls three T’s while on the MW near $800. Instead of taking the sure $3K, she flips it over…and BANKRUPTS. Second, Melanie picks up the 1/2 CAR near $900, but the BANKRUPT near top dollar forces her to give that and the $500 right back. Third, Conley calls up three R’s for $2,100, two E’s, two S’s for $800 and three O’s, then he follows up w/ a $600 L, the last vowel of three I’s, two FP D’s and a C for the Wyoming trip. But next is a critical dud of P to likely deprive him of $9,489 cash and trip. Melissa next digs up two H’s for $1,600, but she then BANKRUPTS again via the MDW’s right side. Melanie then FPs two G’s, lights up the remaining W’s for $1,800…

W O R T H / I T S
W E I G H T / I N

…and she says that the extra $2,800 is WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD RECORDS.

DUDS: A (Melissa), P (Conley)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (both ladies; Melissa 2x)

Scores after R2
Melanie: $3,800/Conley: $2K/Melissa: $4,500

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1991): PHRASE
BDHA gave this woman…

B _
A _ _ _ D E N T

That solve of hers wasn’t BY ACCIDENT — she got it no problem.


PP/Express Round: FOOD & DRINK

Melanie and Conley dud out right away w/ T and N, respectively. Third in line, Melissa takes two S’s for $1,200, two E’s and three I’s to clean out the vowels already…

S _ I _ _
_ _ I _ I
_ E _ _ E _ S

…she nails this puzzle for $700 and she’ll maybe sample some SPICY CHILI PEPPERS during her stay at the Si Como No Resort in COSTA RICA w/ the NEX-5T worth $6,649.

DUDS: T (Melanie), N (Conley)

Scores after R3
Melanie: $3,800/Conley: $2K/Melissa: $11,849 cash & C.R.


$3K Tossup: TV TITLE

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

Conley gets THE WEATHER CHANNEL to move to $5K.

Round 4: THINGS

First from him are a $700 S, five E’s, a $500 N, a single I, a $500 G and a single A, but the sole dud vowel of O freezes him. Second for Melissa are triple R’s for $2,700, but it’s time for Speed-Up Mode…

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

…and the leftover consonants are worth $1,400 apiece. The frontloading F gets put up by Vanna…

F R E E _ I N G
_ E _ _ E R A _ _ R E S

…and Conley withstands these FREEZING TEMPERATURES for $2,100.

DUDS AFTER BELL: L (Melissa), D (Melanie)

Melanie: $3,800/Conley: $7,100/Melissa: $11,849 cash & C.R.

GRAND TOTAL: $22,749
BANKRUPT TRASH (excluding plate): $2,100


$100K Bonus Round
Melissa’s envelope will be the ***.

Category: THINGS
I often use these in my recaps… 

_ _ T T _
_ _ N S  

HFPI fills in two more blanks…

_ I T T _
P _ N S

…but she BLOWS IT w/ MITTY PANS and KITTY PONS. They were WITTY PUNS and she just let $40K slip away.

$5K SPIN ID: SP1524809

MY EP. RATING: 4 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: February 18, 2011


$1,000 Tossup – THING

S _ _ _ _ L
S _ _ R I _

Jaclyn & Alyssa show their SCHOOL SPIRIT to get on the board first. Here are our last three duos of this week…

Jaclyn Kerr & Alyssa Vargha (seniors): church girls who have been best friends for 1.5 years; Alyssa is originally from Arizona
Malik Rivers & Caitlin Tatum (seniors): Caitlin is a student body president, the captain of a varsity basketball/tennis team, a track runner and a recent inductee into the National Honor Society while Malik is a football/tuba player; they’ve known each other since 3rd grade
Brianna Bailey & Erina Galanukan (sophomores): best friends since the 6th grade; Brianna is a memeber of a drama/improv club while Erina’s in a show choir


_ _ B _ N / _ _ _ D

Brianna & Erina quickly solve heroic outlaw ROBIN HOOD.

: Portofino Island Resort in Pensacola Beach, FL worth $8,000

Jackpot Round – FUN AND GAMES

The same girls in the yellow position immediately BANKRUPT on the MDW’s right side. Second, Alyssa & Jaclyn put up the first letter of this answer (a $900 T), two R’s for $600, and the purchases of two A’s and an E. They later pick up the WC w/ two obvious G’s and we have…

T H R O _ I _ G / A
_ O O _ E R A _ G

They’re THROWING A BOOMERANG and we give them the $2,000 house minimum in return when they could’ve gone for those N’s.

BANKRUPT: Brianna/Erina

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Malik/Caitlin: $0
Brianna/Erina: $2,000
Jaclyn/Alyssa: $3,000 + WC


Round 2 – SHOW BIZ

That same team starts this one off w/ four S’s for the Regal Entertainment gift tag, two N’s for $1,800 and their purchases of an E and two A’s, but they then LaT out. Second, Caitlin & Malik pick up the FL trips w/ three R’s, light up three T’s for $900, and buy three I’s. Next up are two G’s for $800, a U buy, a FP P and a $600 L. The board now…

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

They identify SINGING SUPERSTAR TAYLOR SWIFT for $10,300 cash and Florida.

LaT: Jaclyn/Alyssa

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Malik/Caitlin: $10,300 cash and FL
Brianna/Erina: $2,000
Jaclyn/Alyssa: $3,000 + WC



Malik & Caitlin are roadblocked right away w/ an R call. Second, Brianna & Erina spot a $300 N but then repeat the R while on the MW next to the MDW. Third, Alyssa & Jaclyn say S for sorry. Back to Malik & Caitlin, they uncover two T’s for $1,200, buy four O’s, but then BANKRUPT near $3,500 to lose the leftover $950. On their next try, Brianna & Erina call up two G’s for $800, two FP I’s, three L’s for $2,100 and four W’s while on that same MW. They quickly take the $4K for those W’s and attempt to solve w/ the following…

W _ / W O _ L _
L O _ _ / T O / G O
W _ A L _
W A T _ _ I N G

They say “WE WOULD LOVE TO GO WHALE WATCHING” for $6,950, and we’re giving them a caravan.com TOUR OF NOVA SCOTIA & P.E.I. worth $9,000. Had they gone for the MW…they would’ve BANKRUPTED!

DUDS: R (Malik/Caitlin), S (Jaclyn/Alyssa)
BANKRUPT: Malik/Caitlin
DQ: Brianna/Erina’s R duplication

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores

Malik/Caitlin: $10,300 cash and FL
Brianna/Erina: $17,950 cash and Canada
Jaclyn/Alyssa: $3,000 + WC


$3,000 Tossup – PLACES

_ _ A T E
_ A _ I T _ L S

Brianna & Erina solve STATE CAPITALS for a new total of $20,950.

Round 4 – PERSON (full $1,450 speed-up round)

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

Malik & Caitlin know that I am THE NARRATOR OF THE STORY, as they solve this puzzle for $7,250.

SOLE DUD: L (Brinna/Erina)


Malik/Caitlin: $17,550 cash and Florida
Brianna/Erina: $20,950 cash and Canada
Jaclyn/Alyssa: $3,000 and a useless WC



$100,000 Bonus Round
Brianna & Erina land on the I in WIN.

Category: THING
1/2 the puzzle already…

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

MHCA adds nothing but a key consonant…

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

…but they only get the first word; thus, they DON’T follow this (10-second) STRICT CURFEW for $30,000. That sends them home with $20,950 cash and trip.

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: February 17, 2011


$1,000 Tossup – FOOD AND DRINK

M O U _ _ _ A _ E _ I _ G

Bridget & Minh can buy a lot of MOUTHWATERING TREATS with the grand they just pocketed. Let’s find out more about Thursday’s teams…

Bridget Gosis & Minh Nguyen (seniors; the latter NOT related to me): Minh is a school treasurer; they’re student council members who have known each other since 7th grade
Payton Burke & Sabrina Buoncristiani (seniors): best friends for six years who do some sign language; Payton is a dance team member while Sabrina plays softball & volleyball
Tyler Pisciotta & Quinn Bushman (sophomores): these cross-country boys have known each other for 2.5 years; Quinn is the VP of his school’s class level


_ U Z _
L _ G _ _ _ _ _ R

A pair of female teens nailed this one for the $100K during Season 23, and Bridget & Minh solve the “Toy Story” character BUZZ LIGHTYEAR to triple up.

FEATURED TRIP: Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, OH worth $7,238

Jackpot Round – PERSON

The red team leads off w/ a $550 R, three T’s for $900, three E’s, but the sole dud vowel of A stops them. Second, Payton & Sabrina spin up LaT. Third, Tyler & Quinn pick up the Cedar Point trip w/ two S’s, lights up triple N’s for $900, and buy the rest of the vowels before they see…

S T U _ E N T_ O U N _ I _
_ R E S I _ E N T

This would have been appropriate puzzle for Bridget & Minh, but the blue guys do solve STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT for a total of $7,388 cash and C.P.

SOLE DUD: A (Bridget/Minh)
LaT: Payton/Sabrina

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Bridget/Minh: $3,000
Payton/Sabrina: $0
Tyler/Quinn: $7,388 cash and C.P.



The girls in the yellow position pick up the WC right away w/ two N’s. But after a lot of work, they buy the sole dud vowel of O. The blue boys secondly uncover a $300 H, but then LaT out. As for Bridget & Minh…

_ E A _ T I _ _ L
H A _ A I I A N

…they’re going to the BEAUTIFUL HAWAIIAN ISLAND of MAUI at The Westin Resort & Spa worth $11,600.

SOLE DUD: O (Payton/Sabrina)
LaT: Tyler/Quinn

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Bridget/Minh: $14,600 cash and HI
Payton/Sabrina: WC
Tyler/Quinn: $7,388 cash and C.P.


Mystery Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Former leaders Tyler & Quinn are up first w/ three N’s for $1,800, two G’s for $600 and three obvious I’s, but their next consonant of S is no good. Second, Bridget & Minh BANKRUPT on the MDW’s left part after putting up two R’s for $600. Third, those yellow girls pick up the TicketsNow.com gift tag w/ three C’s and use $500 from an H to buy four O’s and two A’s. Next up are a $600 L but then their second LaT of the game. Back to the blue boys who take a B while on the MW next to LaT. They risk their $2,150…for the BANKRUPT. Once Bridget & Minh hit that dreaded white space, Payton & Sabrina play it safe (I wouldn’t have done that)…
C H A N G I N G / _ _
_ R O _ I L _
_ I C _ _ R _ / O N
_ A C _ B O O _

They’re “CHANGING MY PROFILE PICTURE ON FACEBOOK” for $2,000 cash and tickets when they could’ve gone for the P’s and F’s.

SOLE DUD: S (Quinn/Tyler)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Bridget/Minh, Quinn/Tyler)
LaTs: 2 (Payton/Sabrina, Bridget/Minh)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Bridget/Minh: $14,600 cash and HI
Payton/Sabrina: $2,000 cash and GT + WC
Tyler/Quinn: $7,388 cash and C.P.


$3,000 Tossup – FUN AND GAMES

R _ _ _ Y
R _ C E

The blue guys are wrong with RALLY RACE. Bridget & Minh then immediately jump in and sweep the Tossups with RELAY RACE, giving them $17,600.

Round 4 – THING (full $1,350 speed-up round)

_ _ T R _ / _ R _ _ _ T
_ S S _ _ N _ _ N T

Bridget & Minh complete this EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT for another $6,750 and the win!

Bridget/Minh: $24,350 cash and Hawaii
Payton/Sabrina: $2,000 cash and GT
Tyler/Quinn: $7,388 cash and C.P.



$100,000 Bonus Round
Bridget & Minh land on the * space.

Category: PEOPLE
The last two words of this big puzzle caused an 11-second $100K loss on Vanna’s 52nd birthday (Feb. 18, 2009)…

_ _ N _ _ R / _ _ R S _ T _
S _ _ _ _

MPBA only adds two of the vowel…

_ _ N _ _ R / _ A R S _ T _
S _ _ A _

I don’t know if they’re members of their JUNIOR VARSITY SQUAD, but I do know that they mess up the last word w/ a guess of JUNIOR VARSITY STARS, and they don’t win the $35K. That sends them home with $24,350 cash and Hawaii.

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: February 16, 2011


$1,000 Tossup – THINGS

M A _ _ H _ N G
_ U _ F _ _ _

Ariel & Katlyn aren’t wearing MATCHING OUTFITS, but they do share their first grand. Here are the teams for the midweek edition…

Ariel Dela Cruz & Katlyn Van Nieuwenhuyse (seniors): best friends since 8th grade from Torrance, CA; Kaitlyn is a varsity water polo player
Melissa Tvedt & Victoria Adamson (seniors): best friends since 7th grade from Tucson, AZ; Melissa does some cross-country running while Victoria sings since she was three years old.
Anthony Hickling & Holly Cramer (seniors): best friends since 8th grade; Holly runs track and plays varsity basketball/soccer while Anthony is a school president who also plays lacrosse

$2,000 Tossup – FUN AND GAMES

S _ O O _ _ N G
H _ _ _ _

Melissa & Victoria beat Holly to the punch with SHOOTING HOOPS.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: the $5,000 hayndeedle.com shopping spree

Jackpot Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

This round belongs to Melissa & Victoria…

T A _ I N G / A
_ I M O _ _ I N E
T O / T H E / _ _ O M

…this will help them if they’re TAKING A LIMOUSINE TO THE PROM — another $3,350.


Pre-Round 2 Scores
Ariel/Katlyn: $1,000
Melissa/Victoria: $5,350
Anthony/Holly: $0



Anthony & Holly lead off w/ a $600 S, but they then BANKRUPT near $3,500. Second, Ariel & Katlyn call up two R’s while on top dollar, but they then get the same fate via the MDW’s left side. Third, the yellow girls waste a spin w/ the other normal BANKRUPT. On their next try, Anthony and Holly light up three T’s for $900, two L’s to triple up, an E trio, but nothing more w/ N. Coming down Ariel & Katlyn’s alley are a $900 Y but then H for halt. Once Melissa & Victoria LaT out, Anthony & Holly buy four A’s, but then BANKRUPT in the exact same spot they got earlier to give up the $2,200 remainder. After Ariel & Katlyn dig up two W’s for $600…

T _ T A L L Y
A W E S _ _ E
W A T E R / _ A R _

…they solve this puzzle for $1,500 and will be heading to a TOTALLY AWESOME WATER PARK at the Beaches TURKS & CAICOS Resort worth $10,600.

DUDS: N (Anthony/Holly), H (Ariel/Katlyn)
BANKRUPTS: 4 (two by the blue team, 1 each by everyone else)
LaT: Melissa & Victoria

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Ariel/Katlyn: $13,100 cash and trip
Melissa/Victoria: $5,350
Anthony/Holly: NIL


Mystery Round – EVENT

Our current leaders kick off w/ three T’s for $10,500 and a couple E’s, then they light up a $1K pair of R’s, an A and three W’s while on the MW near the MDW. They wisely decline the $11K gamble because that’s the BANKRUPT one. After that are five O’s and a $300 Y, then we have…

W _ O / A R E / Y O _
_ O _ _ O W _ _ _ / O _
T W _ T T E R ?

They ask “WHO ARE YOU FOLLOWING ON TWITTER?” for $14,050!

PR #2!

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Ariel/Katlyn: $27,150 cash and trip
Melissa/Victoria: $5,350
Anthony/Holly: gooseegg alert


$3,000 Tossup – PERSON

S _ _ C E R
_ _ _ _ E _

Anthony & Holly finally get on the board with SOCCER PLAYER.


After some letters get filled in, here’s the board for speed-up mode…

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ R _
_ _ R R _ / P _ T T _ R

Each of the remaining consonants are worth $6,000! After the H gets filled in…

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ R _
H _ R R _ / P _ T T _ R

…Ariel & Katlyn blow it with THE WIZARD HARRY POTTER, possibly costing them another $7,500. The W has been requested…

_ _ _ / W _ _ A R _
H A R R _ / P _ T T _ R

…but Anthony & Holly give the EXACT SAME ANSWER AT THE BUZZER as the red girls; they likely gave back another $8,000. Late in this round, the red girls have lit up the two Y’s…

_ _ Y / W _ _ A R D
H A R R Y / P _ T T E R

…and solve BOY WIZARD HARRY POTTER for $25,500, and a BLOWOUT victory!

Before Final Spin: S (Anthony/Holly)
After FS: N (Melissa/Victoria)
DQs: 2 (blown solves by Ariel/Katlyn & Anthony/Holly)

Ariel/Katlyn: $52,650 cash and trip!
Melissa/Victoria: $5,350
Anthony/Holly: $3,000



$100,000 Bonus Round
Ariel & Katlyn land on the G in GAME.

Category: THING
This time, two N’s go up first…

_ _ _ _ N _
_ _ N

Guess what GHDI gives them…

_ _ _ I N G
_ _ N

…just the obvious. Furthermore, they’re wrong with BAKING PAN and WAXING MAN (LOL!). The answer was MOVING VAN, and did they just miss out on becoming the second-highest winners on this show?…

….NO, they only lost $30,000; they’re leaving with $52,650 cash and trips!

MY EP. RATING: 8 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: February 15, 2011


$1,000 Tossup – THING

G _ A _ E / P O I _ T
A _ _ _ _ G E

Adam just makes it in time with GRADE POINT AVERAGE, so he and Matthew are on the board first among this six-pack of contestants…

Adam Cohen & Matthew Gibbs (seniors): they have known each other since 2nd grade; Matthew’s from Laguna Niguel, CA while Adam’s from Aliso Viejo, CA
Katelyn Hull & Katie Lawler (juniors): they’re from Hemet, CA and have known each other for eight years; Katie’s a water polo player and swimmer while Katelyn is a varsity softball player
Chelsea Conde & Kelly Nogueiro (seniors): they have known each other for 12 years; Chelsea is a varsity volleyball team member while Kelly is a varsity track team captain who also helps organize her school’s rallies

Credit goes to a newspaper source for providing the hometown of A & M. 

$2,000 Tossup – PERSON

_ A N C E
_ H A _ E _ O N E

Adam & Matthew solve DANCE CHAPERONE to triple their money.

FEATURED TRIP: sponsored by the movie “Megamind”, a trip to NYC worth $8,050

Jackpot Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

The boys instantly pick up the NYC trip with an N. They dominate…

_ E A _ I N G
T E _ T / _ E S S A G E S

…and they’re READING TEXT MESSAGES for $11,800 cash and NYC.


Pre-Round 2 Scores
Adam/Matthew: $14,800 cash and NY
K girls: $0
Chelsea/Kelly: $0



The K girls begin w/ three R’s for $1,500, the purchase of two E’s and three I’s, and two S’s for $7K. But after their A buy is L for lose to leave $7,750 sitting there. Chelsea & Kelly then call up three T’s for $1,500…

_ E R T I _ I E _
S _ _ _ A
I _ S T R _ _ T _ R

…and they’ll be meeting a CERTIFIED SCUBA INSTRUCTOR on their trip to the Turtle Bay Resort in OAHU worth $11,850; they’re on the board with $13,350 cash and trip.

SOLE DUD: L (K girls)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Adam/Matthew: $14,800 cash and NYC
K girls: ZIPPO
Chelsea/Kelly: $13,350 cash and HI


Mystery Round – SAME NAME

Our PP winners dud out right away w/ T. Second, the boys insert a $3,500 S, five E’s and a B for the WC, then they buy a U…

S _ E _ _ _ _ _
& / _ U E E _

…and solve SPELLING & QUEEN BEE for the remaining three grand when they could’ve gone for the L’s and N’s.

SOLE DUD: T (Chelsea/Kelly)

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Adam/Matthew: $17,800 cash and NYC + WC
K girls: NADA
Chelsea/Kelly: $13,350 cash and HI


$3,000 Tossup – PHRASE

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

We often see this on multiple-choice tests, and Chelsea & Kelly solve ALL OF THE ABOVE for a new total of $16,350.


Here go the girls at the end w/ a $600 pair of S’s, two FP E’s, two T’s for another $900 but then N for nada. Second, the boys dig up a $700 H, buy and A and two O’s, and uncover three R’s for $1,050…

S T R A _ _ E R R _
S _ O O T H _ E

…and they drink up a STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE for the $2K house minimum.

SOLE DUD: N (Chelsea/Kelly)

Round 5 – PLACE

Those boys strike out right away w/ the S. Second, the yellow girls do a lot of work, but we finally hear the bells for Speed-Up Mode…

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

All of the remaining consonants are worth $1,450 each. Their next consonant is the D…

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

…after encountering A FORK IN THE ROAD, they finally win their first and only $2,450 on the night.

SOLE DUD (before Final Spin): S (Adam/Matthew)

Adam/Matthew: $19,800 cash and NYC + WC
K girls: $2,450
Chelsea/Kelly: $16,350 cash and HI



$100,000 Bonus Round

Adam & Matthew’s bonus spin barely hangs onto the W in WIN.

Category: THING
Just a pair of R’s to start…

_ _ _ R
_ R _ _ _ 

CHPA and M give them…

H A _ R 
_ R A _ _

After goofing with HAIR WRAPS and HAIR FRAY, they nail HAIR BRAID for $30,000! They leave with $49,800 cash and trip!

MY EP. RATING: 7 out of 10

WOF Retro Recap: February 14, 2011

This was their first Teen Best Friends Week in 2.5 seasons.


This was Lora Cain’s other week as guest announcer.

$1,000 Tossup – PEOPLE

T _ A _

Chase & Megan act like they’re a WINNING TEAM. Here are the week’s first three duos…

Chase Puentes & Megan van Hamersveld (juniors): both girls have known each other for 11 years and they both play field hockey & swim
Kylia Cassone & Brooke Schwartz (juniors): Kylia is a member of their school’s choir/theatre programs while Brooke plays soccer; they’re from Malibu, CA
Adam Lumpkins & Mike Bertoldi: Mike is a member of a varsity lacrosse team whereas Adam plays for a varsity volleyball squad; they’ve known each other since 7th grade

$2,000 Tossup – ON THE MAP

_ _ R I _
F R _ _ _ E

Adam & Mike solve PARIS, FRANCE.

PRIZE ON THE WHEEL: a pair of EA Sports electronics packages worth $5,000

Jackpot Round – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Those boys begin w/ two N’s for $1,200, but their E buy ends their turn. Second, Chase & Megan call up to Jackpot G’s and buy three obvious I’s, but they BANKRUPT near $900 to lose the $750 remainder. Third, Kylia & Brooke say another baddie in R. Back to the boys who fill in a $500 T, two L’s for $5K, and the leftover vowels of two A’s and four O’s, but they get cleaned out of $5,950 by the other normal BANKRUPT. Chase & Megan then pick up $1,500 worth of three D’s…

D O _ N L O A D I N G
D I G I T A L / _ O O _ _

…and solve DOWNLOADING DIGITAL BOOKS for $1,500 bumped to the $2,000 house minimum.

DUDS: E (Adam/Mike), R (Kylia/Brooke)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Chase/Megan & Adam/Mike)

Pre-Round 2 Scores
Chase/Megan: $3,000
Kylia/Brooke: $0
Adam/Mike: $2,000



The first selections from the red girls are a $500 H, four T’s for a x5 multiplier, four E’s, two FP A’s and four N’s for $1,200 before they buy the sole dud vowel of O. After that, it’s all the middle girls…

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


SOLE DUD: O (Chase/Megan)

Pre-Round 3 Scores
Chase/Megan: $3,000
Kylia/Brooke: $4,800
Adam/Mike: $2,000



The middle girls are off and running w/ four T’s for $1,600 and five E’s, but the R fails them again. Second, the boys LOSE A TURN. Third, the red girls insert two N’s for $900, a $400 S and five A’s, but they too get the LaT. After the yellow girls lose another turn w/ L, the boys call up two C’s for the Regal Entertainment Group gift tag, an $1,800 K triplet, but the sole dud vowel of O lets a team down for the second straight round. The red girls then light up a B while on the MW near LaT. They put their $1,050 at risk…but they’ve BANKRUPTED for the second time this game. The middle girls take advantage of that mistake by putting up a $1K M…

C A N / I / T A K E / A
M A K E – _ _ / T E S T
_ _ E N / I / _ E T
B A C K ?

…and they ask the question “CAN I TAKE A MAKE-UP TEST WHEN GET BACK?” for $2,350 plus trips to the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in ST. MAARTEN worth $10K.

DUDS: R, L (both by Kylia/Brooke), O (Adam/Mike)LaTs: 2 (Adam/Mike, Chase/Megan)
BANKRUPTS: Chase/Megan

Pre-Tossup #3 Scores
Chase/Megan: $3,000
Kylia/Brooke: $17,150 cash and trips
Adam/Mike: $2,000


$3,000 Tossup – PLACE

S _ _ _ _ / H _ L L

Chase & Megan double their winnings with STUDY HALL.

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

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

Brooke gets BUZZED OUT after saying just the first word; another $18,000 might be going down the drain for her and Kylia. The boys then light up a pair of M’s…

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

…and solve AMATEUR ASTRONOMER for their own $18,000 and the win! The red team left behind $12,000 in this round of play.

DQ: Brook & Kylia’s buzz-out

Chase/Megan: $6,000
Kylia/Brooke: $17,150 cash and trip
Adam/Mike: $20,000



$100,000 Bonus Round
The cars this week are a pair of Mazda2s. Adam & Mike land on the second A in AMERICA’S.

Category: PHRASE
They get this to start…

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

DMHI gives them…

I T / M I _ H T
H _ _ _ E N

IT MIGHT HAPPEN (a BR win, of course) with what’s up on the final board…and it does for the $30K and a final total of 50 grand!

MY EP. RATING: 8 out of 10

WOF Recap: January 27, 2014

With February sweeps underway, there’s a possibility we could finally have our first six-figure winner of the season. Hopefully, it will come as early w/ this week — it’s “Winter Hideaways”.


Tape Date: November 20, 2013

$1K Tossup: THING

W I N D – _ H _ _ L
F _ C _ O _

Lee solves the weather-related WIND-CHILL FACTOR. It may be chilly in the studio, but these three are ready to play…

Lee Cacioppo: school district IT guy who’ll consider his “Wheel” journey a success but only if he doesn’t make his grandma yell at the TV from Wheaton, IL
Julia Winterhalter: clinical research worker from Cincinnati 
Laura Majchrzak: tax manager who writes Country music and competes in cooking/baking competitions from Hunt Valley, MD

$2K Tossup: FUN & GAMES

_ _ P E R
_ _ _ P _ A N E S

Lee triples up w/ PAPER AIRPLANES.

FEATURED WH: The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Colorado worth $5,833
THIS WEEK’S 1/2 CAR: Chevy Sonic

Round 1: WAYD?

Lee’s off and running w/ a $5K pair of N’s, three I’s, an obvious G for the Green Mountain Coffee gift tag, and a single A. After that are two R’s for $700, an E, two T’s for another $1,300, three $450 H’s, and three O’s to clean out the vowels…

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

 …but he totally blows the solve w/ FORCING HARD TO THE FINISH LINE to likely trash $8,850 cash and coffee. What the heck was he thinking? After that bad moment, Julia takes a $500 F, a FP S, and a $2,500 D but the MDW’s right-side BANKRUPT comes by to take away $3,500. Laura doesn’t do any better w/ an L while on the 1/2 CAR near $300. That gives Lee a big break…

_ O R _ I N G / H A R D
T O / F I N I S H
T H E / _ O _

…and he was really WORKING HARD TO FINISH THE JOB.

SOLE DUD: L (Laura)
SOLE DQ: Lee’s botched solve

Scores after R1
Lee: $11,850 cash & coffee/Ladies: $0 each

According to the sweepstakes promo for Sandals Resorts Romance Week, the in-studio car will be a 2014 Audi A5 Cabriolet. I don’t think they’ve ever given one of those away.


Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Julia’s off to a bad start w/ the other MDW BANKRUPT. Second, Laura picks up the CO trip w/ four T’s, but then buys the sole dud vowel of this puzzle (E). Third, Lee gets two N’s for a grand, two A’s, a $3,500 D and a single O. Next up are an $800 pair of R’s, three FP I’s, two U’s, four H’s for the same 1/2 CAR, a $700 G and finally a $700 pair of C’s. We now have…

T H I C _ / A N D
_ I _ _ A / C R U _ T

He’s been THROUGH THICK AND THIN PIZZA CRUST for an additional $7,950.

SOLE DUD: E (Laura)
SOLE BANKRUPT: Julia (her second so far tonight)

Scores after R2
Lee: $19,800 cash & coffee/Ladies: ZIPPO EACH


PP/Express Round: FOOD & DRINK

Laura has an insta-BANKRUPT near $650. Second, Lee manages to hang onto $650, but he says N for no. Third, Julia spots triple T’s for $10,500 and buys an E, but that’s the sole dud vowel for the second round in a row. After Laura says a baddie in H, Lee gets the same normal BANKRUPT to lose his plate while Julia hits the other normal one to flush away $10,250 (that’s her third one of the game). Once Laura is back in command, she takes a $350 S, two A’s, but then repeats the H she already said. On Lee’s third turn, he calls out two R’s for a grand, buys three I’s, but then says D for dummy. Julia then BANKRUPTS near $650; that’s FOUR of ’em for this lady’s credit. After Laura BANKRUPTS again (this time near $3,500) to give up 100 bucks, Lee says two of the first letter of his name for that WC, lights up three C’s for $1,200, and mercifully tries to get us out of this big mess…

_ R _ I T _
T R _ _ I C A L
C _ C _ T A I L S

He banks another $2,950 and will try some FRUITY TROPICAL COCKTAILS on his Hotwire.com trip to the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in MAUI w/ the NEX-5T worth $7,408.

DUDS: N (Lee), E (Julia), H (Laura), D (Lee)
BANKRUPTS: 5 (two by each lady)
SOLE DQ: Laura’s H repeat

Scores after R3
Lee: $30,158 cash & prizes + WC/Ladies: NO LUCK


$3K Tossup: THE 90’s

S _ _ E _ / _ Y
_ H _ / _ _ L _

Julia finally breaks through w/ “SAVED BY THE BELL”.

Round 4: SONG TITLE (full $1,500 speed-up)

After three Y’s have been requested…

_ _ N _ Y / _ _ N _ Y
_ _ N _ Y

Laura blows the $4,500 solve w/ “MONY, MONY, MONY” (there’s only two of those words in a ’68 song by Tommy James and the Shondells and later covered by Billy Idol in ’87). After Julia puts up the triple M’s to leave only vowels remaining…

M _ N _ Y / M _ N _ Y
M _ N _ Y

…she solves ABBA’s “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY” for $4,500. 

DUDS: S (Julia), T (Laura), R (Julia), L (Lee)
DQ: Laura’s blown solve

Lee: $30,158 cash & prizes + WC/Julia: $7,500/Laura: DESERVING $1K GOOSEEGG

GRAND TOTAL: $38,658
BANKRUPT TRASH (disregarding plate): $13,850


$100K Bonus Round
This is the other week to offer a Winnebago (to be exact, a Minnie Winnie). Lee lands on the first A of AMERICA’S.

Category: PEOPLE
For starters…

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

GMHO and D don’t add to much more…

_ / _ _ _ _ E L L _
G R O _ _

…and he doesn’t have much of anything. That was an A CAPPELLA GROUP, and he leaves w/ $158 more than what he could’ve won.

$5K SPIN ID: MW1963251

MY EP. RATING: 6 out of 10 (R3 brought it down for me)