Blog Post #139: Yo, Jens! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

This particular post is being written as a nice wee bonus surprise for Jens, a friend and brilliant colleague of mine at Musica Mundi School.

Jens solves lots of puzzles regularly, and he really – – – – – – them! The ‘blanks’ – – – – – – stand for a proper six-letter English word that can be made by rearranging the letters of the title ‘Yo, Jens! 😊😊’

The smiley faces 😊😊 also fit well with the answer, but as Jens especially enjoys mathematical puzzles, here comes a sneaky little one inspired by the name JENS. Regarding positions within the English alphabet, J=10, E=5, N=14 & S=19. As we’re now in blog post #139, your fun Maths challenge is to use the numbers 5, 10, 14 & 19 exactly once each in a calculation which leads to a result of 139. You may use the 5, 10, 14 & 19 in any order that you like, and you may also use +, -, x, Γ·, ( ) freely wherever you may wish to.

Via Blog Post #138, Jens discovered that my dad will turn 88 next month. I’m now thinking of two proper 2-digit numbers XY & YX such that the sum XY + YX = 88, while the product XY times YX is as small as possible (but neither X nor Y is zero). I’m also thinking of those particular numbers because XY times YX Γ· 100 gives the day & month numbers of Jens’ birthday in the form DD.MM. Now you can enjoy discovering when Jens’ next birthday will be! 😊

Jens also loves some good chess! In the position featured below (which I saw via Facebook earlier today), White is of course in a totally, easily winning position. However, what still makes for a delightful wee puzzle is: How can White (to move) force checkmate in only 2 moves…?

White is to move and force checkmate in only 2 moves β™₯

It’s my intention to wait at least a day or two before publishing solutions so that, in the meantime, readers can enjoy tussling with the puzzles. You are most welcome to send me any/all of your answers, if you like…and now I have a beautiful Bible reflection to conclude this article.

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”-1 Thessalonians 5:11

Here’s wishing everyone a very good and peaceful Sunday now,

Paul M😊twani β™₯

P.S. = Puzzle Solutions (being posted on 26.11.22)


5 x (10 + 14) + 19 = 139.

XY + YX = 17 + 71 = 88


XY times YX Γ· 100 = 17 x 71 Γ· 100 = 12.07 in honour of Jens’ birthday 0n 12 July.

In the chess puzzle, White can underpromote the c-pawn to a new bishop! So, instead of 1 c8=Q?? which would produce a stalemate position, White forces checkmate via 1 c8=B! Kxe8 2 Rg8# 😊

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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