Blog Post #111: Lovely To Meet You

Dear Readers,

One of the most precious gifts that we have received is time. Recognising that well, I endeavour to do good things now in the present, rather than waiting (unless ‘now’ might sometimes be too soon). So, I want to say a most sincere “THANK YOU” for yet another truly wonderful concert at Musica Mundi School last night. The beautiful concert can be enjoyed again via this link:

Just like myself, my wife, Jenny, loved every moment, and afterwards she thoroughly enjoyed meeting the school’s musical accompanist, Li Xie, who is also Chinese. While Jenny and Li chatted in Mandarin, I followed quite a lot of their conversation (really honestly, though Maths or Chess would still be considerably easier for me!!), and then suddenly I saw another lovely lady to whom I had been introduced quickly, at the start of the evening, just before the concert. Then, Rita had told me that she is German, and that she came to Belgium 65 years ago, in 1956.

It was really lovely to meet you, Rita

During the concert, I didn’t let myself miss even a moment of any of the 18 magical performances by the young musicians, but you’ve heard the sayings about Music and Maths going together… So, while my ears listened in pure delight, my mind (certainly inspired by the music) had fun creating a little puzzle in honour of lovely Rita.

Suppose that we are told now in 2021 that someone came to Belgium in the year 19AB, some BA years ago. In Rita’s case, AB is 56 and BA is 65. The little puzzle simply asks: What is the smallest alternative possibility that could also have worked for AB, and what is the largest alternative for AB?

Here’s a bonus word puzzle: Rearrange the letters of RITA’S ONE to make a proper eight-letter word (without the apostrophe). There are three correct possibilities!

Have good fun cracking the wee puzzles, and I wish everyone a very happy day now. I intend to publish solutions to the puzzles of this post (and the previous post) in two or three days from now.

With kindest wishes always,

Paul Motwani xxx

P.S. Here are the puzzle solutions, now on 1 November 2021:-

The smallest possibility for AB is 29 and the largest possibility is 92.

1929 was 92 years ago and 1992 was 29 years ago.

RITA’S ONE can be rearranged (without the apostrophe) to make NOTARIES, NOTARISE or my favourite SENORITA 😊.

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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