Dear Readers,

The title of today’s article sums up what is most important in our short lives now, as the result will last forever.

An e-mail last night, on 17.9.17, from James Pitts–a great friend who also featured in Blog Post #2–reminded me that he and I had talked back in April about the special number 153, which equals 17×9. (1x1x1)+(5x5x5)+(3x3x3) also makes 153, and that was the tremendous number of fish which apostles of Jesus caught in the Sea of Galilee after they followed Jesus’ advice to cast their empty net into the sea, and to trust Him regarding the results.

If we have faith in God, and love Him and His people as He loves us, then we can look forward to enjoying eternity in Heaven after our short lives now.


A beautiful sum is





Each letter stands for a particular digit from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9.

As we’re in the year 2017, and also since this is Blog Post #17, I’m going to say that we’ll let E=1 and A=7 throughout the sum. Your fun challenge now is to determine exactly what numbers all the other letters will have to be.


How do you make a squid laugh twice?

Start with 8 tickles and then 2 more…that makes ten-tickles!!


Why does the greedy capture 1 Nxb5? lose for White?



If A=7, then the unique solution to the (normal base 10) sum





is V=0, E=1 (this was actually given as a bonus clue), N=2, F=3, H=4, I=5, R=8, T=9 


+  379418


=  417012

Many sincere congratulations if you tried the puzzle, and especially if you found some or all of the correct letter values.


1 Nxb5? loses to 1…Na5! 2 Qd3 Bxb5! 3 Qxb5 Rb8, as the rook then skewers White’s queen & the loose bishop on b2.

I will finish this article with a good quote: “In humility, value others above yourselves; not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others”–from Philippians 2.

Author: Paul A. Motwani

My name is Paul Motwani, but my colleagues, my students and their parents mostly call me "Mr. Mo"! My middle initial, A, stands for Anthony, because I was born on the official feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of miracles and of lost souls. I love teaching Mathematics and Chess, and giving fun-packed talks and shows in schools and clubs. The popular ingredients of Math, Chess, Mystery and Magic are my "Fantastic Four", and I give prizes too! I am an International Chess Grandmaster, and (loooooong ago!) I was the World Under-17 Champion. I am the author of five published chess books and hundreds of newspaper articles. I live with my wonderful wife and son in Belgium. I also love music, movies and puzzles. I blog at My e-mail address is You can find me on Facebook, too.

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