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Your Letters: 'Jeopardy' Champ's Secret Goes Public


Now to your letters. First, an update.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Raynell Cooper, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland. He was anxiously waiting for word on whether he had been accepted into several colleges, including his top choice, George Washington University. Raynell had to omit a significant achievement from his college applications.

Mr. RAYNELL COOPER (Senior, Richard Montgomery High School, 2011 Teen Jeopardy Champion): I had to leave out that I'm the winner of the 2011 "Jeopardy" Teen Tournament.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Why? Why couldn't you include that?

Mr. COOPER: We're sworn to not release our results and that college application process came right before the airing.

HANSEN: We are happy to report that Raynell has been accepted to GWU. Good luck, Raynell.

Last week, I spoke with pianist Hyung-ki Joo and violinist Alexsey Igudesman about their classical music and comedy show, "A Little Nightmare Music," which they recently premiered in the U.S.

(Soundbite of song, "I Will Survive")

Mr. ALEXSEY IGUDESMAN (Violinist, Singer): (Singing) First, I was afraid I was beautiful. You think your life could never live without you by my side...

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: That reminded Wendy Quinones of Gloucester, Massachusetts, of a concert she and her husband attended that featured the music of Jacques Ibert. She writes: The ensemble was highlighting a blaring trombone phrase for comedic effect. We were happily chuckling away. But during the intermission, the woman sitting in front of us turned to my husband and said sternly, It's very hard to enjoy the music when you're laughing. When he said, but it's funny. She simply sniffed and turned away. Telling the story to one classical musician friend, she interrupted before the punch line to say, Oh, Ibert has a wonderful sense of humor. How sad it is that so many assume humor to be absent from high culture.

Last week, I mentioned my pending retirement in our puzzle segment with Will Shortz. And I was greeted with many letters from surprised listeners. Among them was a particularly touching note from Matt Stone of Floyds Knobs, Indiana: Liane, I heard of your upcoming retirement this morning with a mixture of emotions. Today will be our last Sunday together. I leave for Afghanistan soon and won't be hearing you on the radio. Thank you and the very best wishes, Liane. You have made a difference in one U.S. Air Force life.

Thank you, Matt. And stay safe.

And thanks to all of you who are sending me personal letters. They really mean a lot to me. And I only really have one thing to add in response to Matt's letter. Members of the military can hear NPR wherever they're deployed through Armed Forces Network.

We always welcome your comments about the show. Go to NPR.org and click on the Contact Us link. You can also post a comment on Facebook or Twitter at NPRWeekend. Or you can send me a tweet at nprliane. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.