Blog Post #94: Sneaky Surprises for Zooming Zoe!

Dear Readers,

Zooming Zoe acquired her title by making incredibly fast improvements in her recent Maths results!

It’s lovely to see her confidence zooming way up, and she more than deserves some nice, sneaky surprises now!

Today, the four-digit number 1112 comes to mind, for Zoe is saying ‘Au revoir’ to 11 as she’s turning 12. Happy birthday, young star!

With super-fun ‘Magic Maths’, you learn to expect the unexpected…so… whirl 1112 around to get 2111 ! Multiply it by yesterday’s 11, and the result 11 x 2111 = 23221 is beautiful for Zoe on her birthday, 23.2.21 today!

Shall we enjoy another sneaky surprise for Zoe? Of course we will!

Start with 7, the total number of letters in ZOOMING.

Square it to get 7 squared, that’s 49. For happy memories, multiply by yesterday’s 11 to get 11 x 49 = 539. Zoe will like that because we’ve got her favourite digit, 3 (yes, the very same as mine!), sandwiched in-between the digits of her house number, 59.

Now, what about adding on a gigantic 59000 birthday bonus!? I mean, 539 + 59000 = 59539.

Multiply by 13, the total number of letters in HAPPY BIRTHDAY: 13 x 59539 = 774007, and all Maths secret agents just love that 007 on the end!

For a perfect finishing touch, multiply by 3, Zoe’s favourite number of letters in ZOE! So, 3 x 774007 = 2322021, a gorgeous answer for the birthday girl now on 23.2.2021.

By the way, let’s not forget to calculate the digits sum 2 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 0 + 2 + 1 = 12 for Zoe turning 12 !

Here’s wishing everyone a really happy day now,

Paul Motwani xxx

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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