Blog Post #47: Magical Music

Dear Readers,

It’s about 2 years and 3 months since I was a 2x3x3x3-year-old, and tomorrow my little brother also bids farewell to that age, as he then turns 55–but a very youthful one! Our phone conversations cover lots of topics of mutual interest, including our love of music. I will now have frequent fresh musical news to share, thanks to my new job as the Mathematics teacher for the primary, middle and high school students in Musica Mundi School, a stunningly beautiful music school in Waterloo.

BRAINTEASER FOR MY LITTLE BROTHER’S BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!

Can you discover a nice mathematical connection between the number 551 and the numbers in tomorrow’s date 9.9.18?

LOVE OF MUSIC

The photo just above shows me in Brussels beside the Jacques Brel statue, which was sculpted by artist Tom Frantzen.

By the way, since mathematicians have to balance their equations well, it’s fitting that my current favourite music soundtracks (by Harry Gregson-Williams) are from The Equalizer and its sequel!

MUSICA MUNDI SCHOOL WORD PUZZLE

Start with the lucky 21 letters in

MUSICA MUNDI SCHOOL TEAM

Cross out the following letters…

SUMS I AM MIND U

Use all the left-over letters to make a delicious nine-letter word!

 

THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME CHESS!

Long ago, my little brother was the one who kindly taught me the rules of chess. He could certainly crack the following puzzle: discover how White, to move, can force a quick win from the given position.

SOLUTIONS TO PUZZLES

You may well have thought of perfectly good solutions which differ from mine, but here is what I had in mind…

2x3x3x551=9918 for the numbers brainteaser.

(Incidentally, though 551 may plausibly look like a prime number, it’s actually composite: 551=19×29.)

In the word puzzle, the nine left-over letters rearrange to make CHOCOLATE!

In the chess puzzle,

  1. Qxf8+! Kxf8 2. Rxf7+ Kg8 3. Rf8+ Kg7 4. R2f7# is a neat checkmate.

Wherever you are, I wish you a very happy weekend now.

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 paulmotwani.com. My e-mail address is pmotwani141@gmail.com. You can find me on Facebook, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.