Monthly Archives: March 2019

Advanced Stats Television: Mental Samurai Episode 2

And we’re back! Quick recap – Mental Samurai is a new reality tv / game show hosted by Rob Lowe. Contestants are strapped into a gyroscope (nicknamed Ava) and given five minutes to answer twelve trivia questions from four categories. Answer all twelve right, win $10,000 and get a chance to answer four more questions (each worth $25,000) Miss a question and it’s over. I’ve been keeping track of each contestant’s performance and will hopefully be adding more analysis as the season progress. Let’s run down this week’s crop. There were no new categories or subcategories this week, so check out my initial post if you want a more thorough breakdown of the rules.

Below is each contestants “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. I note when this is below 18 seconds in green, and above 18 seconds in red, as, in theory, that’s the needed pace to complete the full challenge.

Brandy Edwards

33-year-old Cosmetology Instructor. She says she went to school to become a teacher and decided it wasn’t for her.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Knowledge True Lies 0 300 285 15
2 Puzzles Picture Perfect 9 276 265 11
3 Memory Echo chamber 7 258 245 13
4 Sequence Striking Distance 7 238 220 18
5 Knowledge Reality Check 9 211 202 9
6 Puzzles Double Crossed 9 193 180 13
7 Memory Blackout 8 172 152 20
8 Sequence Alpha Order 9 143 127 16
9 Knowledge Fact Finder 8 119 107 12
10 Sequence Record Breaker 7 100 77 23
11 Memory Name Dropper 11 66 45 21
  1. A million is a 1 followed by 9 zeroes? False.
  2. Four-word phrase by a picture: “Skeleton in the Closet.”
  3. Repeat a four-word sequence using the words: lion, tiger, and bear.
  4. Arrange popular homes from west to east: Playboy Mansion, Graceland, Whitehouse.
  5. Venus De Milo, one image is missing the arms, the other the head.
  6. Common salad ingredient from two crossword clues – Bell Pepper.
  7. How many white stars are in a photo of a family dressed as superheroes – 6.
  8. Birds alphabetically: humming, owl, penguin.
  9. Which “Sex and the City” character ran for governor of New York – Miranda.
  10. Arrange musical artists by number of billboard top 100s – Beyonce, Michael Jackson, and the Beatles.
  11. Police lineup with men holding a number. She misses it!

The memory tower is brutal. This was a pretty solid run before falling to one of the more common pitfalls.

Ken Franklin

64-year-old retired doctor. He’s a big board game lover and has over 325 in his house and regularly hosts game nights. He’s also made some of his own games.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Puzzles Mirror Mirror 0 300 292 8
2 Sequence Alpha Order 7 285 273 12
3 Knowledge True Lies 9 264 258 6
4 Memory Blackout 6 252 236 16
5 Puzzles Wordnado 8 228 219 9
6 Memory Name Dropper 9 210 195 15
7 Knowledge Snapshot 6 189 149 40
  1. Backwards nametag of the name “Grace.”
  2. Baby, Bath, Crib.
  3. The Earth Revolves around the moon, true or false? False.
  4. A clip of a hockey goal, with the question of the jersey number of the scoring player – 9.
  5. Combine word fragments to make the word tortilla.
  6. Three employees based on name badge – Rudy.
  7. Two images for the band – The Chain Smokers.

Ken is one of the only contestants we’ve seen that’s taken advantage of answering quickly. It does look like the timer waits until Ava is done saying the question to register an answer. That said, you can answer quickly and go fast. As such Ken managed to stay well ahead of the required sixteen second cutoff speed until he ran into a pop culture question he didn’t know the answer to.

Bennett Reeber

23-year-old student at UC Davis studying political science and international relations. Maybe wants to be a lawyer.

Elephant in the room …
# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Knowledge Snapshot 0 300 290 10
2 Sequence Alpha Order 8 282 265 17
3 Memory Blackout 11 254 240 14
4 Puzzles Picture Perfect 9 231 0 231
  1. What sci-fi movie is represented by a Clover and a Field?
  2. List chair, chalk, and ruler in alphabetical order.
  3. Image of a mother and a son in the kitchen. Answer that the son is holding cucumbers in front of his eyes.
  4. What phrase is represented by the picture of an elephant in a room?

Bennett will likely hold the distinction, for a while at least, of having the longest answer time. He got stumped on the phrase “Elephant in the room.” Despite almost saying it verbatim several times. Watching Rob Lowe give “Office Style” glances to the camera during this part was hilarious.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Heather Hurley

36-year-old Strategic Planner at the Library of Congress! She’s also a member of Mensa and loves libraries.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Sequence Alpha Order 0 300 290 10
2 Memory Chat Attack 8 282 268 14
3 Knowledge Toss Up 9 259 253 6
4 Puzzles Picture Perfect 7 246 239 7
5 Memory Echo Chamber 11 228 217 11
6 Puzzles Wordplay 7 210 204 6
7 Knowledge Snapshot 9 195 187 8
8 Sequence Time Warp 7 180 159 21
9 Memory Blackout 9 150 134 16
10 Puzzles Grid Lock 8 126 81 45
11 Knowledge Fact Finder 8 73 64 9
12 Sequence Measure Up 10 54 36 18
13 Knowledge Fact Finder 0 126 117 9
14 Puzzles Mirror Mirror 10 107 95 12
15 Memory Blackout 8 87 70


  1. Axe, oar, saw.
  2. What punctuation mark was not used in a text? The answer was a period.
  3. Beer is made from grain or grapes? Grain.
  4. Identify the one-word expression from an image of a worm in a book.
  5. Four-word sequence using words London, Rome, Paris.
  6. Rearrange the letters to form the rapper name “Eminem.”
  7. What term is represented by the image of a fan and a boy?
  8. Arrange Starbucks beverages by year the were released: Frappuccino, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Cold Brew.
  9. What color was the bowling pin in the juggler’s left hand? Yellow!
  10. Find four TV shows in a letter grid.
  11. In which country do people not drive on the right side of the road? Three options, England was the answer.
  12. Arrange these grades of beef from lowest to highest – select, choice, prime.
  13. (Worth $25,000) Mixing the color of Cookie Monster’s fur with the color of Big Bird’s feathers makes which color? Green.
  14. (Worth $25,000) Reverse chalkboard image.
  15. (Worth $25,000) Sum of dice numbers in a casino image. 11 was the answer.

A pretty stellar run to “tie” with Sam Durbin for the best performance we’ve seen. The question Heather was downed with was brutal as she said the correct numbers aloud but then summed them incorrectly. Other than that, a no-nonsense run. Can’t wait to see her back for the Circle of Champions!

Mitch Emerson

40-year-old rideshare driver and karaoke host from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Puzzles Double Crossed 0 300 274 26
2 Sequence Alpha Order 6 268 255 13
3 Knowledge Toss Up 9 246 209 37
4 Memory Name Dropper 7 202 184 18
5 Puzzles Picture Perfect 8 176 167 9
6 Memory Blackout 9 158 139 19
7 Knowledge Reality Check 8 131 121 10
8 Sequence Striking Distance 8 113 90 23
9 Knowledge True Lies 9 81 65 16
10 Sequence Time Warp 9 56 34 22
11 Memory Hear Say 10 24 4 20
  1. Identify movie: “Purple Rain” from two crossword puzzles.
  2. List Beer, Wine, and Milk in alphabetical order
  3. Victoria Secret models are called Angels or Devils? (Angels)
  4. Year book photos with the correct answer being Betty.
  5. “Paint the Town Red”
  6. Image of a cross on a hand. The ring finger is the correct answer.
  7. Real Great Pyramid of Giza. The fake image has stairs.
  8. Arrange the Alamo, Alcatraz prison, and Independence Hall from west to east.
  9. Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman were high school friends in Sydney Australia. True, apparently.
  10. Earliest to most recent triple-crown winners: Secretariat, American Pharaoh, and Justify.
  11. Which animal sound did you not hear? Bear is the answer.

This was sadly a case of having studied the travel time enough to know that by question 10 he probably had no shot. When his challenge was a “Hear Say”, which requires a decent chunk of time just to hear, I knew he was sunk. A great run by a fun contestant, but fell prey to spending too much time of questions, especially 40 seconds on a toss up.

Carl Sharpe

28-year-old Ticket Sales Manager. His backstory is he ended up in foster care and was raised by his uncle.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Answer time
1 Sequence Time Warp 0 300 277 23
2 Knowledge Snap Shot 7 270 261 9
3 Memory Echo Chamber 6 255 241 14
4 Puzzles Wordplay 7 234 222 12
5 Knowledge Toss Up 9 213 205 8
6 Sequence Measure Up 9 196 183 13
7 Memory Blackout 7 176 156 20
8 Puzzles Compound Fracture 8 148 136 12
9 Knowledge Special Equation 10 126 28 98
  1. List the Walkman, iPod, and Beats by Dre in order they came out.
  2. What band is represented by a Radio and a Head.
  3. Four word pattern using the words nickel, dime, penny.
  4. Rearrange letters to spell “Ellen DeGeneres”
  5. Which drink traditionally contains champagne – Mimosa!
  6. Bed size from narrowest to widest – full, queen, king.
  7. What is written on the hood of a car in a video of it skydiving? “Good Stuff.”
  8. What word combines Quarter____ and ___Door? “Back”
  9. Add the number of the original US Colonies (13) and the number of candles in a John Hughes movie title (16).

Another case where a pop culture blind spot costs a contestant. Carl was well ahead of schedule before getting stumped here. He thought the movie had 13 candles and spent time trying to guess the US Colonies. Rob Lowe again got to entertain the camera being a former Brat Pack member here.

More Meta Analysis

A reminder that friend of the blog and future Mental Samurai contestant Chris Yeh (@chrisyeh) has his own podcast where he recounts behind the scene insights and interviews with other contestants. So definitely subscribe if you haven’t already!

With two episodes under our belt, I was able to start looking at some aggregate data. First, the average travel time is about 8 seconds (in part because there is no travel to the first stop or after the last), which technically means contestants have about 18 seconds on average to try and answer questions. However ….

As noted, Ken showed that you can jam in the answer super fast and as soon as Ava is done talking it will get registered. Of course, some questions like “Hear Say”, “Pay Attention”, and “Blackout” have a built in lag while you wait for an audio/visual clue to finish. Regardless, that’s a pretty good piece of info that any season two contestant, provided the rules stay the same, should use.

One rough part is that time management is obviously the key to this game, but it’s very hard to keep track of.

A final note, we’re starting to get enough samples to see what is the killer for contestants. Of the 12 “deaths” we’ve seen, six came at the hands of a Memory puzzle, two at the hands of a Knowledge puzzle, two at the hands of a Puzzles puzzle, and two at the hands of a Sequence puzzle. Both the “Name Dropper” Memory challenge and “Record Setter” Sequence challenge have knocked out two contestants. We’ll see if that’s a trend.

Alright, until next week!


Advanced Stats Television: Mental Samurai Episode 1

I’m a huge fan of reality TV and a huge fun of numbers. Shocker I know. When my friend Chris Yeh told me he’d be on Mental Samurai, I knew grudgingly I’d have a new television show I’d be into this year. About 10 minutes into the first episode I actually stopped watching and knew I’d have to record some stats. Maybe I’m broken that way! Anyway let’s talk Mental Samurai stats, strategies and more!

Also, Chris Yeh looks to be recording interviews with contestants of the show on his podcast – “The Chris Yeh Podcast” so subscribe if you haven’t!

The Premise

This game is pretty straightforward, a contestant is strapped into a gyroscopic device (called Ava) and is given five minutes to answer 12 trivia questions. They have to get every question correct. Miss one, and you’re out. The questions are from four categories (we’ll do a bigger breakdown below). After each question, the contestant is moved quickly via the gyroscope to the next. The host is Rob Lowe, and the contestant pool is from a pretty unique group. In the first episode, we get a Stanford dropout, an MLB pitcher, an astronaut, a lawyer, and a trucking expert/drag queen!

If a contestant answers all twelve questions correctly, they win $10,000. They then get four more questions, and a minute and thirty seconds to answer them. They also get any remaining time from the first round. Each correct answer is worth $25,000. Miss a question and you’re done. Answer all four, and you win $100,000 and the title of “Mental Samurai”

More in Depth Rules

The contestant is strapped into a fancy gyroscope called Ava that whips them between four towers. Each tower represents a different category of question type. The first round has three questions from each category. The order these are asked in appears random. The second round had one question from each category. Each question has a title type, and we some types repeat. Contestants have to say “Lock it in” and flip a switch when they answer their questions. Here’s a full rundown of the categories and specific question types in each.


These are basically pop culture questions.

  • Fact Find: Seems like tossup. Choose between two options what this fact applies to.
  • Initial Impression: Use the initials of celebrities to spell another word.
  • Reality Check: Given two images, select which one is the real one. (e.g. an image of the Lincoln Memorial with a photoshopped eagle is shown next to the real one.)
  • Snap Shot: Two images are given that are visual clues. Guess the answer to a category given based on the images. (e.g. which superhero is represented by these two pictures)
  • Special Equation: A math problem but with clues for the numbers (e.g. highest dice roll and number of face cards in a deck of cards)
  • Toss Up: A trivia question with two options is given.
  • True Lies: True or false question.


  • Compound Fracture: Identify a word that completes two compound words. (e.g. class____ and ____mate)
  • Double Crossed: Guess a celebrity’s first and last name based on two crossword puzzle-style clues.
  • Gridlock: Find three words in a letter scramble grid based on a criteria (e.g. tree types, cities)
  • Mirror Mirror: An image (so far only license plates) is shown. Select an image that is the mirror image of the one shown from a list of four.
  • Missing Piece: An image in the form of a jigsaw puzzle is shown with one piece missing. Three possible pieces are shown. Identify which would fill the missing spot.
  • Oddball: Four images are shown, spinning! Identify one that is unlike the other.
  • Wordnado: A word is broken into smaller fragments and animation of the fragments floating is shown. Figure out the word.


  • Alpha Order: Arrange a list of items, usually three, by their alphabetical order. They’ll be shown three images, or the most clever, three numbers, and asked to arranged them alphabetically.
  • Back Order: Given a list of words that appear in a popular text (nursery rhyme on the show), list them in the order they appear.
  • Measure Up: Arrange three items based on their length. (e.g. six inches, two feet, a yard)
  • Record Breaker: Arrange a list of times by a given record criteria. Some examples are cities by the number of skyscrapers, Broadway musicals by the number of shows).
  • Striking Distance: Arrange a list of items by their location. (e.g. three cities from furthest west to furthest east)
  • Time Warp: Arrange a list of items by year. (e.g. arrange three NBA players by their draft year)


  • Chat Attack: A text message or Tweet is shown. Answer a question related to some detail (e.g. what location was mentioned in the Tweet. How many times did a letter or number appear in a text.)
  • Echo Chamber: Contestants have to repeat a sequence of words given to them.
  • Hear Say: Three sounds are played and then you have to answer a detail about them.
  • Memory Blackout: A quick video clip is shown. Then you have to answer a detail about the clip when it’s done.
  • Memory Mind Field: Six pictures in two rows of three are shown for a few seconds. Then the are obfuscated with a number for each location. Contestants then have to list the location of a given picture that was in the original six.
  • Name Dropper: An image of several people is shown, with some name identifier in front of them. Then only the headshot of one of the people is shown and you have to identify them by name.
  • Pay Attention: An audio clip is played and then you have to answer a detail about it.

Basic Strategy

As noted, a gyroscope moves you around between each question. In tracking this (check the stats below), it takes between 7 and 13 seconds. There is no travel time for the first question. That means you can count on roughly 110 seconds “lost” to travel time. That leaves around 16 seconds per question. So if someone is pacing themselves, that is definitely the pace to aim for. Since missing a question is so costly, it’s worth being sure first. We’ll talk a few of the puzzle types in each contestant write up, but it’s also definitely a good idea to talk aloud and knowing as many mnemonic tricks is key as the memory category is a killer!

Meta Notes

Based on some reading and Chris Yeh’s podcast on the first episode, it’s revealed many of the contestants entered this contest “blind” as to the exact challenges. So if the show progresses, it’ll be easier for veterans to game challenges. For instance, the key thing to remember in the Name Dropper challenge is the face. Joey, see below, wisely aloud used key phrases like color of the bowling ball his people were holding, but it was for naught.

I’ll also say I can tell that annoyingly TV probably doesn’t do Ava (the gyroscope) justice. I was wondering how fast it would whip the contestants around. It doesn’t look too bad on the screen, but I’m willing to bet it’s much scarier in person. Not sure going forward a better cinematic way to convey this, but figured I’d throw that thought out there.

Stats Notes

I kept track of each contestant, how long they took on their challenges, and the challenge type. Eventually I may try and do snazzier graphics, bur for my first post, boring tables it shall be. Stats to keep in mind.

  • Travel Time: How much time it took Ava to move the contestant to a tower.
  • Start Time: What the timer was at when the card with the clue is visible to the contestant.
  • End Time: The pillars seem to flash green when Rob Lowe verifies a contestant’s answer. The time when this happens.
  • Category: One of the four categories listed.
  • Subcategory: See above.
  • Time to Complete: I noted this and marked when it took a contestant longer than 16 seconds to answer, as that is the theoretical pace, in theory, to win.

Obviously, this is just me watching and eyeballing it. I didn’t use a stopwatch or go super in depth. In some cases the camera obfuscates the timer, so I did my best in these cases. I’ll note them. Onward.

Megan Gage

25-year-old Graphics Designer. Went to Stanford but flunked out in her last semester.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Sequence Alpha Order 0 300 287 13
2 Knowledge Initial Impression 7 280 265 15
3 Memory Echo Chamber 5 260 247 13
4 Knowledge Double Crossed 7 240 226 14
5 Knowledge Reality Check 13 213 204 9
6 Sequence Record Breaker 11 193 173 20
7 Memory Mind Field 8 165 152 13
  1. Was to list the order of three balls: baseball, volleyball, basketball.
  2. Jennifer Anniston and William Shatner = JAWS
  3. Repeat a sequence of four words. The words were burger, fries, soda.
  4. Nick Cannon from two crossword style clues.
  5. The Lincoln Memorial with a photoshopped eagle.
  6. Arrange Chicago, Miami, and New York by number of skyscrapers.
  7. An Owl in the #2 position.

Megan kept up a great pace and was well ahead of schedule. She ran into what we’ll discover is one of the cruelest towers and cruelest puzzles: the Memory Mind Field. As I noted, I could see this puzzle being easier to crack if the show sticks around and it stays in rotation, but it definitely knocked Megan off a good run.

Clayton Anderson

59-year-old retired astronaut. He also wrote a kid’s book!

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Puzzles Oddball 0 300 291 9
  1. Identify which of four spinning clocks is unlike the others. The difference is the placement of the hour hand.

Without a doubt the hardest question in this episode. I was shocked by hard this task was, especially relative to some of the others. Chris Yeh on his podcast interviews Clayton and jokes Clayton is TV Trope – the Sacrifical Lion. If Clayton comes back for a redemption arc and goes down fast again, it’ll be the Worf Effect!

Donovan Hand

32-year-old former MLB pitcher. Go Brewers!

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Knowledge Toss Up 0 300 288 12
2 Sequence Alpha Order 7 281 265 16
3 Memory Chat Attack 10 255 243 12
  1. Smokey the Bear prevents forest fires.
  2. Put knife, plate, spoon (based on images) in order.
  3. A Tweet about a vacation has the hashtag #CABO. Misses by guessing they are in Cancun.

A quick exit. Donovan answers a straightforward question too quickly and knows immediately he’s wrong. In Chris Yeh’s podcast Clayton Anderson actually says he cautioned Donovan to take it slow. Dang!

Joey Gutmann

29-year-old attorney. He has also been on Jeopardy and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Knowledge Snap Shot 0 300 290 10
2 Sequence Measure Up 8 282 267 15
3 Memory Chat Attack 9 258 236 22
4 Puzzles Missing Piece 8 228 216 12
5 Memory Pay Attention 7 209 193 16
6 Sequence Time Warp 8 185 166 19
7 Knowledge Toss Up 7 159 151 8
8 Puzzles Compound Fracture 9 142 131 11
9 Sequence Striking Distance 8 123 110 13
10 Memory Name Dropper 9 101 123 18
  1. Stevie Wonder and Woman symbol = Wonder Woman
  2. Six inches, two feet, a yard.
  3. Count the number of Zs in the sentence: “I’m so tired today, I feel like I could snooze all day.”
  4. Missing piece
  5. Sentence with the word “jellyfish” as the first item in the list.
  6. List NBA players in order of draft year: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James
  7. PIN stands for Personal Identification Number.
  8. Class____ and ____Mate are connected by Room!
  9. Sort from west to east – Cancun, Mexico, Honolulu, USA and Kingston, Jamaica.
  10. Name Mabel. He misses :(

An amazing run and as I noted above, I think had Joey known the specific game, he’d have done even better. In his interview with Chris he even opines had he spent a little more time thinking, he might have figured it out. To rub salt in the wound, I’ll note he was easily up on time. Oh well!

Becky Eldridge

46-year-old writer. Her backstory is she just lost her mother.

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Sequence Alpha Order 0 300 279 21
2 Memory Pay Attention 9 270 250 20
3 Knowledge Snap Shot 8-10? 240-242? 228 12-14
4 Puzzles Wordnado 8 220 213 7
5 Memory Mind Field 10 203 174 29
6 Puzzles Mirror Mirror 8 166  142 14
7 Knowledge Fact Find 7 135 124 11
8 Sequence Back Order 7 117 99 18
9 Memory Blackout 9 90 69 21
10 Puzzles Gridlock 9 60 49 11
11 Knowledge Special Equation 7 42 24 18
12 Sequence Record Breaker 11 13 1 12
  1. List bacon, lettuce, tomato in alphabetical order.
  2. Audio clip where the answer is the boxer’s nickname is “TKO.”
  3. Handmaid’s Tale from three images. Camera obfuscated timer, so estimates above.
  4. Saxophone!
  5. Jump Rope in spot 6.
  6. Mirror image of a license plate.
  7. HOG is the symbol for Harley Davidson.
  8. Put three words from the poem “Jack and Jill” in order they appear in the poem.
  9. Remember a bungie jumper was giving thumbs up in a video.
  10. Find three types of makeup in a letter jumble.
  11. What is the total of highest legal dice roll from two dice plus number of face cards in a deck (24).
  12. List Broadway shows by number of performances (Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, and Mama Mia)

A nail biter where Becky comes up just short. An auspicious honor is that she spent too long, arguably, on half her questions. Still. the first contestant we saw reach the last hurdle.

Sam Durbin

27-year-old Trucking Sales Executive. Is also the hit drag queen Briawna Banana (pronounced bah-nahnah)

He noted he’d never live this down if he got it wrong on Chris Yeh’s podcast.
# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
1 Puzzles Missing Piece 0 300 293 7
2 Knowledge Toss Up 10 283 269 14
3 Sequence Time Warp 7 262 247 15
4 Memory Hear Say 8 239 224 15
5 Sequence Alpha Order 10 214 202 12
6 Memory Mind Field 9 193 178 15
7 Puzzles Mirror Mirro 8 170 157 13
8 Knowledge Fact Finder 7 150 138 12
9 Puzzles Grid Lock 9 129 90 39
10 Memory Chat Attack 9 81 67 14
11 Sequence Striking Distance 8 59 31 18
12 Knowledge True Lies 8 23 13 10
  1. Missing puzzle piece image
  2. Who is married to Daniel Craig? Rachel Weisz.
  3. Arrange drinks by year they were introduced: Cocoa Cola, Mountain Dew, Red Bull.
  4. Played a dog, jackhammer, and a saw. Asked which sound came first (Dog)
  5. List three numbers in alphabetical order (sixteen, seventeen, eighteen)
  6. Police Badge in the 4 spot.
  7. License plate mirror image.
  8. What designer shoes does Cardi B reference in her song?
  9. Find three trees in a letter jumble. Theme is trees.
  10. How many times does the number two show up in a text message? (3)
  11. List west to east: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Acropolis, Kremlin.
  12. Is Krypton on the Periodic Table of Elements? Yes.

An absolutely amazing run. Sam is definitely the most charismatic contestant on this week’s show and keeps up an amazing attitude while playing. He only really got bogged down looking for the word “OAK” in the Grid Lock challenge but was otherwise perfect. Onto the bonus challenges:

# Category Subcategory Travel Time Start Time End Time Time to Complete
13 Knowledge Toss Up 0 143 133 10
14 Memory Name Dropper 10 123 57 26
15 Sequence Record Breaker 9 48 26 12
  1. Which river flows south to north. The Nile and Mississippi are options. Answer is the Nile.
  2. Chad!
  3. Arrange in order of box office grosses: Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Robert Downy Jr., and Samuel Jackson.

And like Becky, Sam goes down to Record Breaker. He pockets $50,000 and will be back due to being the best performance of the night. Can’t wait!

Summing Up

Alright, there are the “boxscores” of the week for Mental Samurai. Chris Yeh is set to make his appearance April 30th. We got some brief glimpses of him on this week’s show, but no definitive clues as to how he fares. We’ll keep watching and I should be back next week with more stats.