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The most important thing for readers to understand before watching this “Wheel of Fortune” blooper snippet is that at a certain point in a slow-moving round, contestants get to try to solve the puzzle until their time rounds out. The second-most important thing to note is that the answer in this case is definitely not “The Pointed Desert.”
After middle contestant Lindsey scores a “P,” revealing the “Landmark” category puzzle to be “THE P _ _ NTED DESERT,” she incorrectly guesses “The Pointed Desert.” Following that, participant James guesses, yep, the exact same phrase: “The Pointed Desert.”
Host Pat Sajak then explained that James still had more time to guess again, to which the confused contestant nervously muttered, “Oh I still have time?”
After saying nothing else — after again being prompted by Sajak — James uses that allocated clock to unconfidently specify that he’d like to solve the puzzle. He then guesses — yes, again — “The Pointed Desert,” bringing the number of attempts to solve the puzzle with that non-landmark to three.
“It’s not ‘The Pointed Desert,’ no matter how many times you say it,” Sajak shot back, to the noticeable delight of letter-turner Vanna White.
For the record: The correct answer was “The Painted Desert,” which the contestant in the first slot, Kelly, instantly got when it came around to her — probably because it was so simple now that she pointedly knew what it was not.
“I was just going to give him ‘Pointed Desert,’ he was so insistent,” Sajak quipped.
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