Advanced Stats TV: Mental Samurai Episode 8

And we’re back with another week of boxscores for this year’s hot new reality TV show Mental Samurai. In case you haven’t seen the show — which is streamable at Fox — contestants are strapped into a gyroscope, called Ava, flung around between four towers and asked a series of trivia questions. Answer 12 in a row, win $10,000. Answer four more, win $25,000 per question. Answer all 16, win the title of Mental Samurai. Miss a question or run out of time, and you’re done. I run down the category types and subcategories that appear in my week one writeup if you’re new.

Also, as always future contestant Chris Yeh’s podcast often has bonus content for the show, so subscribe to that if you haven’t already.

Below is each contestant’s “box score” with a little analysis. A reminder of the stats I’m tracking:

  • Category: The category of the question – Knowledge, Puzzles, Sequence, or Memory
  • Subcategory: Each category has a selection of types. I list these in depth in my week one write up.
  • Travel Time: How long it takes for Ava to settle the contestant in front of the tower with the question up in front of them.
  • Start time: What the countdown is at (in seconds) when the question is first visible to the contestant.
  • End time: When Ava flashes green or red, signifying the contestants’ answer has been registered.
  • Answer time: The time between the start time and end time. In theory, below 18 seconds is ideal for this.
  • Required Pace: How quick the contestant must, on average, answer each of the remaining questions. This assumes an average of 8 second travel time between each question.

Alex Goines

34-year-old engineer. He works at a small engineering firm, but his hook for the show is he does endurance contests for fun, including things like swimming with sharks!

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1PuzzlesPicture Perfect0300292817.7
2SequenceBack Order72852721318.6
4MemoryEcho Chamber72452341120.1
5PuzzlesDouble Crossed9225216921.1
6MemoryPay Attention102061871922.6
7KnowledgeToss Up7180174623.3
  1. Identify the image represented by a Flying Clock: Time Flies.
  2. Arrange the words “Mary, Fleece, Snow” in order they appear in “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
  3. What band is represented by an image of a cold thermometer and a applause call at a play. ColdPlay.
  4. Repeat pattern of London, Paris, Rome
  5. Identify “Veronica Mars” from clues Betty’s Riverdale Rival and Red Planet.
  6. What room is the Bat Mizvah being held in” Blue Room.
  7. Who has an Oscar: Key or Peele? Peele.
  8. Arrange countries by times they’ve hosted the Olympics from fewest to most. Mexico, France, USA.

Ah, the Olympic themed sequence questions are tough. Alex notes he wouldn’t have gotten the question right with more time. He falls into the category of a strong competitor with a great pace that just got hit by a gap in knowledge.

Marissa Willman

30-year-old digital marketing director. She met her boyfriend on-line dating and it turns out they went to the same high school. She loves to play video games, and those skills definitely translate.

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1SequenceAlpha Order03002891117.7
2KnowledgeReality Check8281275618.3
3MemoryEcho Chamber82672571019.5
4PuzzlesDouble Crossed82492381120.6
6SequenceTime Warp82121882423.4
7MemoryHear Say81801641623.3
12SequenceStriking Distance1055411455
  1. List Christmas, Easter, Halloween. Image clues given.
  2. Which is the real London Eye? Fake has large thing in middle.
  3. Repeat Ace, King, Queen, Jack from card images.
  4. Apple Pie. Clues are “Maker of Macbook” and “Circular Chart”
  5. Who was an origial co-host of “The View”: Joy Behar, Meghan McCain, Whoopi Goldberg.
  6. Place sporting events from earliest to latest in year: Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series.
  7. List instrument sound/image shown second: Flute
  8. C has a blue flower unlike other tattoo images.
  9. Spell the eight-letter word for this predominantly land-dwelling turtle. T-O-R-T-O-I-S-E
  10. Study image from “The Martian” movie carfuly. what is the mission day? Sol 21. Last thing she says before Ava asks the question!
  11. Fidget Spinner from: GIFTED ERSINNP
  12. Arrange 2018 American Music Festivals from West to East.
  13. What name has been shared by six US presidents? John, James, William, or Thomas?

A great intro run with very few bumps. Her first question was brutal, and I think definitely merited a little more time given that she had a great buffer from her intro round. Of course, it’s easy to Monday Morning Quarterback this. Great job Marissa.

Arius George

38-year-old police officer. He’s an LA police officer and says that high pressure will help him out. Sadly, he gets a quick edit and no intro time with Rob, which “spoiled” he was going to lose.

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1KnowledgeToss Up03002792117.7
  1. Americans send more gift cards for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

And oh man did he lose quickly. This question was very tough. I know the show says they avoid “trick questions” and that is true. However, it’s pretty easy associate cards with Valentine’s Day over Christmas. Of course, on Christmas you send cards to everyone, whereas Valentine’s day tends to be more significant others. Despite the long explanation, this one fooled me too.

Zach Engel

28-year-old from Rochester, NY. He prepared for Mental Samurai by using a rolling chair and spinning around while reading trivia questions. He also had the best hairdo-stashe-style combo on the show.

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1PuzzlesCompound Fracture03002891117.7
3SequenceBack Order81891543511.7
4MemoryEcho Chamber8146133139.1
5SequenceTime Warp912487378.5
8KnowledgeInitial Impression73212200
  1. What word is a suffix for lip and prefix for up? Stick.
  2. What action character is represented by a Ram and a Bow?
  3. Place these words in the order in which they appear in “Little Miss Muffet”: Tuffet, Curds, Spider.
  4. Repeat Cherries, Lemon, Grape pattern.
  5. Arrange husbands of Angelina Jolie in order. Billy Bob Thronton, Brad Pitt, Jonny Lee Miller.
  6. Video of skydivers. Last person to join was wearing an orange helmet.
  7. Thomas Edison from jumble. Clue is “Famous Inventor”
  8. Combine initials of Billy Idol, Clint Eastwood, and Patrick Stewart to form a body part. (Only images of actors shown)

Zach was sunk pretty early on because he took too long to figure out “Rambo.” I will say, he ended in a fun area where he hit 0 as his required pace, as in, if he were able to instantly answer every question, he was theoretically still in it. Of course, we know this is actually impossible. Zach also showed the show knocking down a close to the correct answer answer. He said “Bicep” when the answer was “Biceps.” I’d say he’d have an argument for appeal, but at best he could only get one more question in.

Kristy Agamegwa

41-year old database analyst. Dropped out of college but returned at age 37 and got her sociology degree.

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1SequenceAlpha Order03002821817.7
2KnowledgeToss Up72752641117.7
4MemoryEcho Chamber82402271319.6
5SequenceStriking Distance92181912720.3
6KnowledgeSpecial Equation71841483619.4
7PuzzlesDouble Crossed11137924516.2
9SequenceTime Warp125846128.5
11PuzzlesMissing Piece10201556
12MemoryName Dropper114044
  1. List blender, toaster, spatula in order.
  2. Foghorn Leghorn is which animal? Chicken or Fish.
  3. Combine floating fragments to form Switzerland. The clue is a European country.
  4. Repeat pattern “You, Happy, To, Birthday” funny.
  5. Arrange US Landmarks from North to South. Niagara Falls, Liberty Bell, Cape Canaveral
  6. Add number in 1st Jump Street Movie with number in 2nd Jump Street Movie. 21 and 22.
  7. A hit song is the clue. Across – Fireplace Tool. Down; App: ____ Time. Poker Face.
  8. What name was on the mailbox in an image? Ness.
  9. Place show in order of their U.S. TV debut from earliest to most recent. Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, the Wall.
  10. What Broadway musical is represented by a ham, a mill, and a ton?
  11. Identify the piece that completes the puzzle. C.
  12. Time expries before question finishes.

Kristy just barely ran out of time. It all boiled down to “Poker Face”, which took just a little bit of time to figure out. Kristy didn’t know the app “FaceTime” quickly or the song “Poker Face” and that set her back. A classic gap in pop culture moment. Other than that an amazingly strong run, and a thrilling finish that came down to the wire.

Dylan Gentile

40-year-old classical pianist. He’s been studying since age three! Also, I was excited to see how good his memory was. He did not disappoint.

ChallengeCategorySubcategoryTravel TimeStart TimeEnd TimeAnswer TimeRequired Pace
1SequenceAlpha Order03002841617.7
2KnowledgeToss Up62782661218
5SequenceAlpha Order112172031420.1
6KnowledgeReality Check81951821321
7PuzzlesDouble Crossed111711482321.8
8MemoryMind Field81401281221.6
9SequenceStriking Distance13115106922.8
12MemoryName Dropper1347192847
13SequenceTime Warp0109852421.3
  1. List ant, bat, fox in order.
  2. Regifting is from Seinfeld or Shakespeare? Seinfeld!
  3. Psychology. Clue is something you can get a degree in.
  4. What shape were the designs on a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker in an ornate dress? hearts.
  5. Arrange words “Peanuts, Back, Crowd” in order they appear in “Take me out to the Ball Game.”
  6. Which image is real Golden Gate Bridge? Fake has a middle portion.
  7. Dream Catcher. Clue is “Somthing found on a bedroom wall.” Clues are Down: Nocturnal Vision. Across: Masked Baseball Player.
  8. Where is the pinata located? 4.
  9. Arrange lakes from West to East. Lake Tahoe, Great Salt Lake, Lake Michigan.
  10. Which type of noddle is called “Bow-Tie” pasta? Fusilli,. Farfalle, or Fettuccine.
  11. C has a different nose than the others.
  12. Where was image of man with a beard in polic lineup? Spot 1.
  13. Arrange Fitness Trends by year. Crossfit, Jazzercise, Step Aerobics, Soulcycle.

I was really curious how well Dylan’s memory would be, as I mentioned. And he did great. He followed pretty much the same path as Marissa, a strong first round that was immediately downed by a gap in knowledge. I guess Soulcycle is an exercise fad now? I didn’t know that either.

Alright, only one “regular season” game left and then the finale. Sorry for the late scores this week. I’ll try and be more prompt the next two shows.