Blog Post #133: More Muffins for Michail!, Part II β™₯😊😊β™₯

Dear Readers,

Every day that I work as the Mathematics teacher at the beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium, I am truly grateful for everyone and everything there…including the very yummy muffins, of course!!

Even when the muffins have been gobbled up by lots of appreciative teachers and students, we continue to be blessed with really good meals and extra treats, too β™₯

A super-fun puzzle to go with this lovely photo is this:
start with SCHOOL EAT, and add just one more well-chosen letter.
Then rearrange the 10 letters that you’ll have to make a proper 10-letter English word.

There are only two possible solutions, and it’s quite beautiful that both solutions are in the photo! Can you discover both of the correct solutions? 😊😊

Looking back to Blog Post #132, which is now complete with full solutions to the puzzles given there, it turned out that

17 bananas would balance 21 muffins, in the context of the picture below.

However, imagine checking it very late at night when you’re probably really tired,
and just making a small slip of putting 21 bananas & 17 muffins instead of 17 bananas & 21 muffins…

Naturally, the 21 bananas will be too heavy, but still, by considering this situation, we can enjoy the following very worthwhile bonus puzzle…

It’s this: How much heavier, in total, is 21 bananas & 17 muffins than 17 bananas & 21 muffins?

I really like that puzzle, because again it’s possible to solve it without even needing to know the individual masses of either a banana or of a muffin!

In the case with the 21 bananas & 17 muffins, we basically have 4 extra bananas but 4 fewer muffins when compared with 17 bananas & 21 muffins.

If we ‘lose’ a muffin but ‘gain’ a banana, we basically gain 20g, because a banana is clearly 20g heavier than a muffin, in the right-hand part of the diagram above.

Therefore, if we ‘lose’ 4 muffins but ‘gain’ 4 bananas,

we gain 4 x 20g = an overall gain of 80g. That’s it! 😊

Congratulations if you discovered either or both of these word puzzle solutions:




Over the coming days, many of my colleagues, students and other friends have their birthdays. In one case, the daughter of a colleague of mine will be turning 003 x 007 = a ‘lucky’ 21 years old 😊.

Today, it occurred to me that the last time I actually saw Raymond Dolan (a great chess friend and Facebook friend of mine) was more than 21 years ago! However, I so loved a photo and reflection about autumn that Ray posted on his Facebook page today, that I’m now re-sharing it with y😊u here β™₯

Thanks to Ray Dolan for having shared this lovely reflection via his Facebook page earlier today β™₯

Wishing everyone lots of love and blessings,

Paul M😊twani β™₯

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 β™₯

Joke: What kind of muffins can fly?

Plain ones!!

Blog Post #132: More Muffins for Michail!, Part I β™₯😊😊β™₯

Dear Readers,

Given that my wife, Jenny, and my son, Michael, and I all love good films, I offer you the following fun puzzle…

Nice photo taken by Jenny last Friday β™₯😊😊β™₯

Remove just one particular letter from FUN FILMS and then rearrange the remaining 7 letters to make a proper 7-letter English word. There is only one, unique solution, but I’m confident that you’re going to find it!

This past Monday, during lunchtime at Musica Mundi School, Michail (a Bulgarian student) and I laughed as he put a chunky chocolate muffin on his tray when I told him that I had solved a Maths puzzle involving muffins earlier that very same day!

On the left, the very nice Noetic Learning picture shows that
a 190-gram mass is balanced by one muffin & one banana,
while on the right we see that one banana is balanced by one muffin & a 20-gram mass.

My brand-new, fun puzzle for you (still based on the data in the above picture, though) is this: Imagine emptying the left and right pans of a balance scale, and then putting only bananas in the left pan, and only muffins in the right pan. How many bananas and how many muffins should be used so that the scale will be perfectly balanced? (Assume that the pans are large enough to accommodate all the goodies that are needed to do the job!!)

It’s possible to figure out the smallest number of bananas and muffins that will be required without even calculating their actual masses!

I’m always really pleased when students, colleagues, and other readers enjoy the puzzles and happily send me their best solutions, so please do feel free!

I hope you figure out the muffins like Michail…otherwise you might go bananas!!!😊😊😊

It’s my intention to give answers in a Part II sequel to this post β™₯

but before I sign off today, I would like to share a neat chess puzzle with you…

The puzzle is to locate White’s invisible knight somewhere on the f-file
and show how White can then force checkmate in 3 moves,
but not in 2 moves, due to the knight’s precise location.
My family and I wish everyone lots of love and, as a further wee bonus puzzle,
can you deduce whether the photo here was taken just before the one up at the top of this article, or just after that one!? β™₯😊😊β™₯

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani β™₯

Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love.”


As another extra bonus, replace the letters FF in MUFFINS with CIA, and then rearrange the resulting 8 letters to make a proper 8-letter English word.

Magical Musician β™₯

Puzzle Solutions (being posted now on 29 September 2022)

If we remove the letter L from FUN FILMS, the remaining letters can be rearranged to make MUFFINS 😊

Imagine doubling up the left-hand scale to see that
*380g would be balanced by 2 muffins + 2 bananas.*

Now multiply the contents of the right-hand scale by 19 to see that

19 bananas would balance 380g + 19 muffins.

Next, use the ** result above to deduce that

19 bananas would balance 2 muffins + 2 bananas + 19 muffins

or 19 bananas would balance 2 bananas + 21 muffins.

Finally, subtract two bananas from each side

(which thereby still maintains balance) to get that

17 bananas would balance 21 muffins, and we didn’t even need to know the individual masses of either a banana or a muffin!

In the chess puzzle, it’s true that a white knight on f5 would enable 1 Rxg7+ Kf8 2 Rh8#, but that’s too quick in this puzzle!!

Instead, put a white knight on f7, and then we get to finish beautifully with 1 Rh8+!! Bxh8 2 Nh6+ Kf8 3 Rf7#, a lovely checkmate! β™₯😊β™₯

In the sneaky photos puzzle, we see that the gentleman wearing the red sweater has reached the shop by the end, and so that photo was taken moments after the earlier one. (He didn’t do something else just to trick all of us!!! 😊)

MUFFINS – FF + CIA leads to MUSICIAN β™₯

Blog Post #131: A Beautiful Double Discovery β™₯😊😊β™₯

Dear Readers,

The beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium (where I work as the Mathematics teacher) has been blessed now with many lovely new students and staff members as the school begins its fifth year, so far. As every person in the whole school family tries to give the very best of himself/herself, we can all learn so many good things from each other. With that thought in mind, I believe that, in a special sense, every person at Musica Mundi School can say honestly, “I teach at MMS!” (with regard to himself/herself personally). What makes that all the more beautiful for me is that it can be rearranged to make “Mathematics!”

I made that delightful discovery just earlier this year, around the time when I turned 60 in June. Only yesterday, though, God gave me a fresh gift which is similar in a way to the “Mathematics!” one, but is even much more important…

Continue reading “Blog Post #131: A Beautiful Double Discovery β™₯😊😊β™₯”