PUZ­ZLED?

How this cute lit­tle goat played a part in the wildest Q&A in Ask Mar­i­lyn his­tory,

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Front Page - By Lam­beth Hochwald

For 30 years, Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant has been a steady re­source for Pa­rade read­ers who count on her weekly Ask Mar­i­lyn column for an­swers to their press­ing ques­tions and who en­joy her tricky Num­brix puzzles. But vos Sa­vant, 70, gets just as much out of her work as read­ers do. She ad­mits that through her column she has be­come a trusted friend to read­ers who write to her of­ten, shar­ing their lives, their con­cerns and, of course, their burn­ing ques­tions about ev­ery­thing from why we’re sleepy in the af­ter­noon to where our plan­ets are lo­cated.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1946, vos Sa­vant knew early on that she was dif­fer­ent from other kids. In fact, it was af­ter she took two in­tel­li­gence tests at age 10 that it be­came clear that her IQ re­sem­bled that of an adult, not a child. She was listed five times in The Guin­ness Book of World Records as hav­ing the high­est record­able IQ for both chil­dren and adults.

Upon ar­riv­ing in New York City in the mid-1980s to pur­sue a ca­reer as a writer, she was hired by Pa­rade, which led in Novem- ber 1986 to the weekly column that’s been beloved by read­ers ever since.

So what has an­swer­ing reader ques­tions meant to this New York City writer, wife of Robert Jarvik (one of the de­vel­op­ers of the Jarvik ar­ti­fi­cial heart), mom of a son and daugh­ter and grand­mother of two teenagers? Ul­ti­mately, it’s been a unique chance to con­nect with in­tel­lec­tu­ally cu­ri­ous su­per­fans from all over the world and to ex­er­cise her brain.

“The con­nec­tion I have with my read­ers is one of the things that keeps me sharp,” she says. “I think with some of them, I’m the only one they have to tell things to. Peo­ple write as if they know me per­son­ally. I feel that I know them too, be­cause I know what’s go­ing on in their lives.”

And, no mat­ter the decade, one ques­tion seems to dog her read­ers most.

“Peo­ple will write me and ask, ‘Out of all the re­li­gions in the world, which one do you think is cor­rect?’ ” she says. “A ques­tion like that I could never an­swer.”

Vos Sa­vant has no­ticed changes over the years. “The late ’80s

“The goal is to make a lightbulb go off over read­ers’ heads so that they feel that ‘I got it’ feel­ing. That makes every­body feel great.” —Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant

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