Another thread has discussion about those over 50 and the buzzer. Brad did alright and would have had the lead for the FJ! round if he had solved his RI + ND Daily Double.
In that thread, it was mentioned that speed of recall of information declines, too, and that may have been a factor on that DD -- along with the lights.
A blah game, which did nothing to mitigate the letdown I was feeling with Cindy no longer playing. (It also felt weird to no longer have a rooting interest in any of the players -- I wouldn't have minded any of tonight's 3 contestants winning this one. Congrats to Sam on becoming a 2Xer, though.)
FJ was a virtual instaget for me. First my mind jumped to Larson, who of course wrote the book about the White City, but then I noticed that the clue asked for an author who was alive in 1893. From there, given a colored city and an author writing around the turn of the 20th century, my mind leaped very quickly to Baum.
Was El Al as the Israeli airline just a little overvalued at $2K?
I know the Dryden "LL" clue was pinned, but I thought it was negbait -- I too went for "mollify" instead of "quell."
I also thought the Hawaiian Airlines clue was kind of neg-baity; Pan-Am was well-known for pioneering trans-oceanic routes with innovative (for the time) aircraft that involved many intermediate stops, so Oakland to Honolulu would have totally fit in with that.