Can You Beat This Game of "Jeopardy!"?


By: Deborah Beckwin

7 Min Quiz

Image: NBC/ABC/Syndicated

About This Quiz

There have been only a few lasting game shows on American television, but Jeopardy! has become a mainstay for American viewers and for people around the world. What we're most familiar with is the syndicated version which began in 1984, with Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer.

Jeopardy! has won over 30 Daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award for the show's focus on knowledge.

So what is about Jeopardy! that has made people stick with the show after all these years? Even with the advent of the internet, which makes looking up trivia answers a lot easier, this game show is still quite popular.

It could be that everyday Americans can come on the show as contestants and test their smarts. By watching along, viewers can also feel just as smart--especially if they're able to answer a question that the contestants cannot. You don't have to be physically agile or daring, or physically attractive--you just have to have a good general knowledge of a variety of subjects. But if you do know a subject really well, you can show that off, too, by clearing a column. And you get to learn some things as you watch.

So here are this quiz's subjects: Happy New Year!; Famous British Actors; Caribbean Islands; American State Flowers; and Oh My Stars, It's Astrology.

There won't be any Daily Doubles or Final Jeopardy!, and there's no timer--unless you want to time yourself!

So get ready to answer the answer with a question! Good luck!

What sign is considered NOT to be one of the 12 signs of the zodiac?

Ophiuchus as a sign tends to cause a bit of alarm every few years, but it is not a part of either the tropical zodiac (the more common zodiac used in astrology) or the sidereal zodiac. Its dates are in between Scorpio and Sagittarius, approximately November 29th to December 17th. This is based on the constellation boundaries instead of dividing the ecliptic (the sun's annual path) into 12 equal parts as is done in astrology.


The Baby New Year symbol comes from ancient Greece, honoring this god of wine.

In ancient Greece, the tradition was put a baby in a basket and lift it high to the skies to commemorate Dionysus' rebirth. Usually Baby New Year is paired with old man Father Time, with his hourglass and scythe, as a symbol of the time passing (a baby in January and an old man by the end of the year). Father Time is associated with Cronus, who is the father of Zeus.


Early in his career, this Gandhi actor took on his grandfather's nickname, "King Cloves".

Sir Ben Kingsley's paternal grandfather was a successful spice trader who moved from India what is now known as Tanzania. Kingsley's birth name Krishna Pandit Bhanji and he took his first name from his father's nickname, Benji.


On New Year's Day, many people in the southern region of the U.S. eat this to usher in a prosperous New Year.

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day goes as far back as the American Civil War. Usually black-eyed peas is paired with some pork product for flavoring, greens and cornbread.


Castor and Pollux are the mythological twins behind this zodiac sign.

Known as the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux are the sons of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, and Zeus, respectively. The third zodiac sign, Gemini in Latin means "twins", and as a constellation, Pollux is the brightest star, and Castor is the second brightest. From around May 22nd to June 21st, the sun is in Gemini.


In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, people quickly eat 12 of these at midnight on New Year's Day.

Spaniards try to eat as quickly as possible 12 grapes, representing the hope for 12 lucky months. Whether you shove them in your mouth all at once or eat them quickly one by one, it's a fun and unique way to start off the New Year.


This festive ball was first dropped in this location in 1908 and has become a major part of New Year's Eve celebrations for many Americans.

The Times Square Ball Drop is how many Americans watch the final hours of New Year's Eve and the beginning of the New Year. The ball drop was meant to be a bigger New Year's Eve event which sprung from an annual fireworks show which had started four years earlier. That initial fireworks show was a promotional event to celebrate the new headquarters of the New York Times.


On this US territory, people drive on the left.

When the US Virgin Islands were under Danish rule (known as the Danish West Indies back then), people drove on the left-hand side. This didn't change after the US took over after WWI.


She won an Oscar for her 2006 portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II after Princess Diana's death.

Dame Helen Mirren is one of the few actors to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting, winning an Emmy, Tony and Oscar. Even though she's had many TV roles, she's been on the silver screen since the 1960s.


This sign is the only one represented with an object.

Libra is the seventh zodiac sign and represented by the scales. All the other signs are represented by people, animals or mythical creatures. The dates for when the sun is in Libra are September 24th through October 23rd, with the beginning of this period as the autumnal equinox.


This sign's symbol may be an arrow, but it's held by a centaur.

The ninth zodiac sign, Sagittarius is a centaur holding a bow and arrow. In Greek mythology, this centaur is Chiron, an archery mentor for Achilles. The sun is in Sagittarius from November 23rd to December 21st.


This actress scripted and starred in the film Sense and Sensibility, winning Oscars for both.

Dame Emma Thompson is the only person to have won Oscars in both screenwriting and acting. She's played numerous roles before and since Sense and Sensibility, including in Love Actually, Howards End and in the Harry Potter film series.


The lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" were based on a poem by this Scottish poet.

Known as the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne" to the tune of an older Scottish tune. It's been a Scottish tradition to sing this song at New Year's Eve and has been a popular tradition around the world for many years.


In this state, the official flower is more of the coniferous variety.

Maine's state flower is unique in that it's the white pine (Pinus strobus) cone and tassel. A cone is not a flower but is a gymnosperm, meaning it produces seeds without flowers. It may seem to be an unusual choice, but the white pine is on the state flag, state seal and the Maine quarter--so it's an important part of Maine's identity.


The countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic are on this larger island.

Hispaniola was formerly called Santo Domingo in colonial times. The Dominican Republic holds two-thirds of the island to the east, making it the second-largest nation in the Caribbean (with Cuba the largest). Haiti holds the other third to the west.


For this ancient Middle Eastern civilization, New Year's Day was celebrated near the first day of spring.

Around 2000 B.C., or 4000 years ago, the Babylonians would celebrate the first new moon after the vernal equinox. The 11-day celebration was called Akitu, which heralded the victory of Marduk, god of the sky, over the evil sea goddess, Tiamat. This period was also when a new king would be crowned or the current king would be affirmed to rule another year.


You may think this actor's foray into DJing is new, but he began as a DJ when he was a teenager.

DJ Big Driis, also known as Idris Elba, has had that moniker since he was 19. He was already interested in acting at this point, but started auditioning for TV roles in his 20s. Elba has been the lead actor in the BBC drama, Luther since 2010.


The vernal equinox is the beginning of the astrological new year and the start of this zodiac sign's season.

The beginning of spring as the beginning of a new year harkens back to the Babylonians who would celebrate the New Year at the first new moon after the vernal equinox. Aries, represented as the ram, is the first sign in the zodiac.


A rare wildflower in this state, the pink-and-white lady's slipper is this state's flower.

The state of Minnesota made the pink-and-white lady's slipper (Cypripedium reginae) the state flower in 1967. You can find this flower in damp woods, in the swamps, and in boggy areas. Due to its rare nature (e.g. it can take up to 16 years for the first flower to appear), it is illegal to pick this flower.


While in the Royal Navy, this Star Wars actor wanted to become an Anglican priest.

Sir Alec Guinness had a long and storied career in film and theater. It was only much later in his career that he starred in the Star Wars film series as Obi-Wan Kenobi.


The Lone Star State had a battle of the sexes over this state flower (the ladies won).

At the turn of the 20th century, male Texas lawmakers had wanted the cactus or the cotton boll to be the state flower. But the National Society of Colonial Dames of America had other ideas, specifically that Lupinus subcarnosus (Sandyland bonnet) should become the state flower, which happened in March 1901. But then, it was found that Lupinus texensis was also native to the state, so after much debate, in 1971 the state included this species as well.


Vermont's state insect, the honey bee, can frequently be seen with the state's flower.

For the state of Vermont, the state flower and the state insect are common companions. Red clover became the state flower in 1895, and the honey bee became the state insect in 1978.


You can hear this Shakespearean actor narrating the audiobooks for the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series and a version of Homer's Odyssey.

Sir Ian McKellen has been acting since he was 20 years old, so nearly six decades. It's of no surprise that this Shakespearean actor from the X-Men film series and the Lord of the Rings series has also lent his voice to audiobooks as well as voice work in film and television.


Represented as half goat, half fish, this zodiac sign is from a Sumerian god, Enki.

The tenth zodiac sign, Capricorn is known as the sea-goat. Enki seems to translate to "Lord of the Earth" and was responsible for creation, fertility, water, knowledge and a lot more. The sun is in Capricorn at the beginning of the Winter Solstice (around December 22nd) to January 20th.


This island is known as the "Emerald Isle of the Caribbean" because of the island's shape as well as for the many residents who have Irish ancestry.

The Irish came to the island of Montserrat back in the 17th century and claimed the country, but the British came and claimed it afterward. Then the Irish came as indentured servants, especially during the time when Oliver Cromwell had conquered Ireland. Due to the slave trade, Africans were also brought to the island, so the island's demographics are predominantly of an African-Irish mix.


If you're looking for an island that has no beaches, but is great for hiking, diving and snorkeling, this is the place.

A part of the Caribbean Netherlands, Saba is only five square miles in land area and under 2,000 residents. Known for its ecotourism, Saba heralds itself as the "Unspoiled Queen" of the Caribbean.


This state flower represents Delaware's heritage in the fruit orchard industry.

You may be surprised to learn of Delaware's heritage with peaches, but in the 19th century, Delaware had over 800,000 peach trees. It used to be known as "The Peach State" but now it's typically known as "The First State" since it was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.


This French overseas region was called "Karukera" meaning "Island of Beautiful Waters" by the Arawak people who had settled there in the 4th century.

Guadeloupe has had many settlers since 300 AD. After the Arawak people came, the Caribs came in the 8th century. Then in 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus came, and it was a contested place until 1815, when France came into final control of the island.


This island is known as the "Isle of Spice".

Grenada is a major exporter of the spices nutmeg (which is on the country's flag) and mace. Thanks to the rich, volcanic soil found on the island, Grenada also can export many fruits and cocoa.


This actress' full middle name means "beloved" which is also the name of a 1998 movie she starred in.

Thandie Newton's full name is Melanie Thandiwe Newton. "Thandiwe" means "beloved" in many southeast African languages. Newton has played numerous TV and film roles including an android on HBO's Westworld.


In 2017, along with other wildflowers, this state flower made a showy experience in a super bloom in the desert lands.

In 2017, due to record rainfall in California, the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) put on an unexpected dazzling show of color, causing many people to drive out and take selfies with the abundance of wildflowers. The California poppy was adopted in 1903 and can be seen on scenic route markers across the state.


The imperial amazon, a kind of parrot, is only found on this island.

Dominica has a few different unique attributes, including the purple-plumed imperial amazon (also known as the Dominican amazon or the sisserou). This is Dominica's national bird and it's on their flag--the only national flag with purple. Dominica is also the only Eastern Caribbean nation to have the Kalinago people (also known as Island Caribs) living there, since they were slaughtered or driven away from other islands.


This zodiac is known as "The Water Bearer", but this is its triplicity (i.e., element group).

The triplicities are called that because three zodiac signs belong in each element, and the elements are based on the classical elements. The eleventh zodiac sign, Aquarius is considered to be an air sign, with air being concerned thinking and intellect. The sun is in Aquarius from around January 21st to February 19th.


This state has a floral emblem, state flower and a state wildflower.

Oklahoma's floral emblem is mistletoe, adopted in 1893. Then the state wildflower, known as the firewheel or Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella), was adopted in 1986. The state flower is a more recent addition, the Oklahoma rose (Rosa Oklahoma), in 2004.


This is the most common New Year's resolution for Americans.

This is probably unsurprising, but after the holidays, with all the yummy eats and treats, weight loss is the number one resolution for Americans. And this is why gyms are always packed during the first month of the year.


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