The Most Difficult Jeopardy! Questions

Question: While there were two previous versions of this popular daytime game show, which aired in 1964 and 1978, it’s today’s version that premiered in1984.

Answer: “What is Jeopardy!?”

Here are some of the most difficult Jeopardy! questions we could find. How many can you answer?

Category: Foreign Colleges & Universities

Question: A university in the Netherlands is named for this Dutch humanist; a Brooklyn high school is called his “hall.”

Answer: “Who is Erasmus?”

Category: A Literary New Year

Question: New Year’s Eve finds 4 people contemplating suicide in “A Long Way Down,” by this man who also wrote, “About a Boy.”

Answer: “Who is Nick Hornby?”

Category: Rock Bands


Question: Bryan Ferry and mates reunited to play “Avalon” as this band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

Answer: “Who is Roxy Music?”

Category: Places

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Question: At the heart of a major industrial region, this 2nd most populous city lies near the geographic center of England.

Answer: “Where is Birmingham?”

Category: Potpourri

Question: Back in 1917 the President of Argentina announced an October 12 holiday called not Columbus Day but this “DIA.”

Answer: “What is Día de la Raza?”

Category: 3-Named People

Question: This Irish dramatist wrote, “A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on Earth.”

Answer: “Who is George Bernard Shaw?”

Category: From The Greek

Question: The science of determining a tree’s age by looking at its growth rings.

Answer: “What Is Dendrochronology?”

Category: Birds in the Bible

Question: This tall flightless bird was supposedly uncaring about its own young, as in Job & Lamentations.

Answer: “What is an Ostrich?”

Category: The Age of Exploration

Question: A lake that forms the boundary between Vermont & New York bears the name of this explorer who visited in 1609.

Answer: “Who is Samuel de Champlain?”

Category: Soft Words

Question: In “Thus Spake Zarathrustra,” he wrote, “The voice of beauty speaks softly: it steals only into the most awakened souls.”

Answer: “Who Is Friedrich Nietzsche?”

Category: Think It Will Work?

Question: No: this man’s 1890s magnetic iron ore separator; he probably chalked up its failure to perspiration.

Answer: “Who is Thomas Edison?”

Category: Opera Zingers


Question: “You inconsiderate jade” is one of the nicer things said to Polly in this 1728 “opera” that inspired the 20th Century “Threepenny Opera.”

Answer: “What is “The Beggar’s Opera”?”

Category: Jump Around!

Question: You “gotta” do this slang term to mean you’re leaving; it’s also good to get one in the polls.

Answer: “What is bounce?”

Category: The Middle Ages

Question: One way to judge guilt was “trial by” this six-letter word, like putting the accused’s arm in boiling water.

Answer: “What is ordeal?”

Category: Potpourri

The New York Times

Question: If you know the correct procedure, you “know” this, also a tool.

Answer: “What is the drill?”

Category: Broadway Lyrics


Question: In a song from Chicago, we’re told to “give ‘em the old” this title, “give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it.”

Answer: “What is razzle dazzle?”

Category: TV Title Repairs

Question: Paul Michael Glaser & David Soul

Answer: “Who are Starsky & Hutch?”

Category: Van Gogh A-Go-Go

Question: One theory about Van Gogh’s odd behavior is poisoning from this liqueur made from wormwood.

Answer: “What is absinthe?”

Category: Who Wrote It?

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Question: “We asked you to speak about women and fiction–what has that got to do with a room of one’s own?

Answer: “Who is Virginia Woolf?”

Category: Scrambled Harry Potter Characters


Question: A rival & nemesis: MY ALOOF CARD

Answer: “Who is Draco Malfoy?”

Category: Sports Nobility

Indiana HQ

Question: This controversial head coach led Indiana to 3 NCAA hoops titles & the U.S. to a gold medal in 1984.

Answer: “Who is Bobby Knight?”

Category: The Not So Vicious Circle

Question: 1989 film in which Keanu Reeves tells Alex Winter, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”

Answer: “What is Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?”

Category: Sci-Pourri

Question: The 3 most basic types of clouds are stratus, cumulus, and this high, wispy type with a name meaning “curl.”

Answer: “What is cirrus?”

Category: Time to Jazz-ercise

The New York Times

Question: This singer was homeless for the year before her big break, winning an amateur contest at The Apollo Theater in 1934.

Answer: Who is Ella Fitzgerald?

Category: World History

Question: This castle famous for its “stone” was built by Cormac MacCarthy about 1446.

Answer: “What is the Blarney?”

Category: Royalty

Question: Machiavelli was a big fan of this king of Aragon born in 1452.

Answer: “Who is Ferdinand?”

Category: Talkin’ Sports

Question: Your choice: do or don’t name this play in which the QB runs the ball & can choose to pitch it to another back.

Answer: “What is option play?”

Category: Canadian Cities

Question: In 1992, this city’s velodrome, once used in the Olympic Games, was transformed into an environmental biodome.

Answer: “What is Montreal?”

Category: We’re in Business


Question: American Airlines offers this, the oldest frequent flyer program.

Answer: “What is AA Advantage?”

Category: Authors

The New Yorker

Question: In 1937 his sister said he had “hats of every description,” which he would use as a “foundation of his next book.”

Answer: “Who is Dr. Seuss?”

Category: World Leaders

Question: He came to power 34 days before FDR and left it 19 days after him.

Answer: “Who is Adolf Hitler?”

Category: Historical Figures

Question: A 2012 poll by Britain’s national army museum voted this man, born in 1732, as the nation’s greatest military enemy.

Answer: “Who is George Washington?”

Category: Sports Figures


Question: He was featured on the September 22, 1947 cover of Time with the caption “He and the boss took a chance.”

Answer: “Who is Jackie Robinson?”

Category: Wordplay

Question: Subtract a letter from the name of a keystroke found in computer commands and you get this violent reaction to social change.

Answer: “What is Backlash (from “backslash”)?”

Category: Coats of Arms

Question: This country’s coat of arms features a palm tree and a 19th-century American sailing ship.

Answer: “What is Liberia?”

Category: French Food History


Question: A popular product was born when Jean Naigeon of this city substituted the juice of unripe grapes for vinegar.

Answer: “What is Dijon?”

Category: Tony Nominations

Question: Although she has appeared in only 2 Broadway musicals, she got Tony nominations for both, for 1962 and 1964.

Answer: “Who is Barbara Streisand?”

Category: Inventions

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mates Airman Chris Howell

Question: This machine was invented in 1929; the government began buying them to help prevent any more in a series of Army Air Corps fatalities.

Answer: “What is the flight simulator?”

Category: The U.S. Government


Question: On August 15, 1994, 59 years and 1 day after FDR signed the original act, Bill Clinton made this an independent agency.

Answer: “What is the Social Security Administration?”

Category: 21st Century Thought

Question: The title subject of a 2007 bestseller, it was discovered in Australia where today it’s a state emblem.

Answer: “What is the black swan?”

Category: The Oscars

Question: This Brit is the only actor to get Oscar nominations for playing two real-life U.S. Presidents, both for 1990s films.

Answer: “Who is Anthony Hopkins?”

Category: Hymns

Question: “A Christian hymn and a Jewish holiday hymn are both titled this, also the name of a 2009 Tony-nominated musical.”

Answer: “What is Rock of Ages?”

Category: Animals

White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) charging, Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa.

Question: The elephant is the largest land animal by weight; this animal is 2nd.

Answer: “What is the rhino?”

Category:1990s Geography

Question: In area, it’s now the largest country whose boundaries are wholly within Europe.

Answer: “What is Ukraine?”

Category: Government & Economics

Question: Though a legal requirement in 49 states, it failed in the ‘90s as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Answer: “What is the Balanced Budget Amendment?”

Category: Novel Characters

fine art america

Question: This character from an 1851 novel “was intent on an audacious, immitigable, and supernatural revenge.”

Answer: “Who is Captain Ahab?”

Category: 21st Century Oscar Winners

Question: These 2 foreign-born directors have each won 2 Best Director Oscars, but none of their films has won Best Picture.

Answer: “Who are Ang Lee & Alfonso Cuaron?”


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