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!!

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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