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This obvious ‘Wheel of Fortune’ solve turned into 2 minutes of pain

“Another feather in your map”

A game of Wheel of Fortune isn’t especially difficult. All you need is some luck on the wheel, and a decent general knowledge when it comes to turns of phrase. On Tuesday night everything went to hell, all over a seemingly obvious answer.

There’s so much to unpack here as the players desperately tried to solve “Another feather in your cap.” Firstly, and obviously, there’s Laura who’s getting the most flack for all this, but I think she’s an unfair victim of this whole debacle.

See, I kind of respect Laura just going for it. Were they good solves? Absolutely not, but there was at least some fleeting awareness. She knew the final word ended in a ‘P’, which is why she guessed “lap” and “map” on back-to-back attempts. Granted, nobody has ever said “another feather in your lap,” and I don’t know where you’d even put a feather in a map — but she’s being singled out too unfairly.

We really need to discuss Christopher’s role in all this too. Obviously he didn’t have the bravado to go for the full solve, but Christopher had no idea what the puzzle was, at all. I’ve been trying to break down his guesses of “G” followed by “D,” and I’m at a total loss. If you have any idea what he was going for, I’d love to hear it. Here’s where my head is at:

  • Another feather in your gap
  • Another feather in your sag
  • Another feather in your wag
  • Another feather in your dam
  • Another feather in your pad

Obviously none of these make sense, but they make even less sense that Laura’s attempts.

There’s no question the real victim here is Thomas. Poor, sweet Thomas. It’s clear from the jump he knows the answer to this. His moment is here, and the wheel decides to screw him in the most incredible way possible. First there’s his initial spin, which lands ONE SPOT off $1M, so he has to wait for Laura and Christopher to try again. Then he hits the “lose a turn” right after it, and my God, his composure is unreal. I would be screaming and swearing, hell I’d probably just yell “IT’S ANOTHER FEATHER IN YOUR CAP ... MY GOD PEOPLE” before getting kicked out of the studio.

Still, Thomas waits, and finally he’s able to solve — earning just $500. The lowest figure on the wheel at the time. The game didn’t just insult him, it tried to break him. It wanted to destroy his hopes and dreams.

This all made me realize that we’re entering the golden age of Wheel of Fortune. Generations are joining the game who have no idea about antiquated turns of phrase. Is it really funny that Laura and Christopher didn’t know “Another feather in your cap”? Sure, but it’s also extremely weird that anyone knows a phrase like this.

It’s unclear where the idiom originally came from, though there’s suggestion its linked to Native America, where it was a custom to add a feather to the headdress of warriors who performed well in battle. TheIdioms.com also notes that its first written use was in 1599, referring to Hungarian soldiers who were given a feather to put in their caps for each enemy hill. Either way, the phrase had most of its popularity in the 18th century — and really has little meaning today, especially if you didn’t grow up in an environment where people used idioms like this, and especially considering we use less of these phrases now.

I’m so excited for the future of Wheel. When it comes to more contestants struggling with clues I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, or should I say ... “The sip of the iceberg.”