On a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune, one contestant destroyed his competition, solving eight puzzles including the bonus round and one puzzle with only one letter (the phrase was “Port & Starboard” and Robert was only given the “D”). After solving a puzzle with three letters on the board, host Pat Sajak even joked, “Robert, what took you so long?”
The mysterious and mononymous Robert, who runs the Wheel of Fortune themed forum buyavowel.boards.net, said he practiced for the show by creating a list of every nautical expression (the theme for that day’s episode) he could think of:
So, right off the bat is where things get interesting. The instant I got my theme, I immediately came up with an ever-growing list of puzzles themed towards cruises, sailing, fish, boats, anything on or in the water. Some I came up with in my head right away, like “PORT AND STARBOARD” and “POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN”. I opened up MS Word and began typing anything that came to mind. Then, I went to this extensive WOF episode guide and did a Ctrl-F search for “Cruise”, “Fish” and “Sea” and made note of the dates. Then I went to the compendium and wrote down all the themed puzzles from those weeks, marking such puzzles with an asterisk to note that they had been previously used on the show. I then alphabetized the list to organize it by category.
It turns out that “Port & Starboard” has been used twice before in the show’s history.