Dear Readers,

Out of the many millions of books that have ever been written, if I had to pick just 3–my absolute favourite number!–of them to keep enjoying forever, then my top selection would probably be the following:-

- The Holy Bible, because it’s a perfect book revealing to us the Word of God, which can be trusted totally and is of supreme importance.

2. After my clear first choice above, it’s not at all easy for me to pick a second book in preference to all other books, but I’m sure that a very strong candidate would be: ’15 Minutes Alone With God’ by Bob Barnes.

If I fast-forward to pages 185-188 of the book, there’s a four-page article entitled *I Didn’t Believe It Anyway*, which includes the following powerful poem:

*‘Twas the* *night before Jesus came and all through the house*

*Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.*

*Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care*

*In hopes that Jesus would not come there.*

*The children were dressing to crawl into bed,*

*Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.*

*And Mom in her rocker and baby on her lap*

*Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.*

*When out of the East there arose such a clatter,*

*I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.*

*Away to the window I flew like a flash*

*Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!*

*When what to my wondering eyes should appear*

*But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.*

*With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray*

*I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!*

*The light of His face made me cover my head.*

*It was Jesus! Returning just like He had said.*

*And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,*

*I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.*

*In the Book of Life which He held in His hand*

*Was written the name of every saved man.*

*He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;*

*When He said, “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame.*

*The people whose names had been written with love*

*He gathered to take to His Father above.*

*With those who were ready He rose without a sound*

*While all the rest were left standing around.*

*I fell to my knees, but it was too late;*

*I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.*

*I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;*

*Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.*

*In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;*

*The coming of Jesus is drawing near.*

*There’s only one life and when comes the last call*

*We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!*

3. No further book is really needed, but still I thank God every day for having let me enjoy many thousands of fascinating puzzles in my life so far. For me, a compilation of all those puzzles, about Chess, Mathematics, Words and more, would certainly be a treat! I believe that the puzzles in store in Heaven will be better and more magical than I can possibly imagine. For the moment, I can only offer what I know right now. So, I would like to share some surprises with you, since God gives us good thoughts to be shared. Here comes fresh puzzle ideas that came yesterday evening and in the morning today…with some extra bonuses this evening!

I would like to specially dedicate the puzzles to my excellent colleague Jens Van Steerteghem, his brother Nick, and their father Eric, as all three gentlemen are passionate about puzzles and have great talent for solving them!

**A SNEAKY SPEED BRAINTEASER** πβ₯π

The name ‘Eric’ always makes me think of the famous missionary Eric Liddell–affectionately known as ‘The Flying Scotsman’–who won the Gold Medal in the 400m race at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Fast-forwarding 99 years to the present 2023…imagine that Eric Van Steerteghem runs a long distance from A to B at an average speed of 3 metres per second. On the way back from B to A (following exactly the same route as before, only in the opposite direction, and naturally more tired than before), Eric’s average speed is 2 metres per second.

** The brainteaser is to figure out Eric’s average speed for his entire run from A to B to A.** (Being an expert in Physics, Mathematics and more, Jens could tell you immediately that the average speed will

*not be*2.5 metres per second! Can you do like Jens and figure out the correct value?)

**CHINESE FOOD WORD PUZZLE** πβ₯π

**CUBOID BRAINTEASER** πβ₯π

Part 1: As a very quick warm-up before the main Part 2, imagine a cube with its dimensions (equal length, width and height) in centimetres (cm).

If a particular cube’s **volume** (in cubic centimetres) is **numerically equal** to its total surface area (in square centimetres), then what must be the cube’s exact dimensions?

Part 2: If the length, width and height of a certain cuboid are all exact whole numbers of centimetres, and if the cuboid’s volume (in cubic centimetres) is **numerically equal** to its total surface area (in square centimetres), then ** what is the maximum possible height of the cuboid**?

**Multiplication Magic Square, Beautiful Billion Brainteaser! **πβ₯π

**RECIPROCALS BRAINTEASER** πβ₯π

For this puzzle, we need to know that, in Mathematics, the *reciprocal* of any non-zero number n is 1 Γ· n.

Imagine that a lady on her birthday today said, “The difference between the reciprocal of my new age now and the reciprocal of the age I’ll be in a year from now is equal to the reciprocal of the year when my younger sister was born.”

*Your brainteaser is to figure out the lady’s new age now, and figure out the exact year when the lady’s younger sister was born.*

You know that I like the number 141, as it features in one of my email addresses, pmotwani141@gmail.com. Here in blog post #146, I should give a special mention to the number 14641, which equals the fourth power of my house number 11 π

**146 BRAINTEASER** πβ₯π

Part 1: In our normal base ten, the number 146 = 6 x 1 + 4 x 10 + 1 x 10 squared.

However, in another base B (not base ten), 222 (base B) = 146 (base 10).

*Figure out the value of B.*

Part 2: This involves a new base, N. We are told that

222 (base N) = xyz (base 10),

where xyz represents a proper three-digit whole number.

*The brainteaser is to figure out the maximum possible value of xyz, and the corresponding value of N.*

**A Wee Dose of Chess To Finish!** πβ₯π

It’s my intention to publish solutions to all the puzzles around the time that blog post #147 comes out, God-willing as always.

In the meantime, please do feel free to send me your best solutions to any or all of the puzzles, if you like π.

I would like to round off this article now by most sincerely wishing you a very blessed weekend, with lots of happiness in everything that you do β₯

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul Mπtwani β₯

**P.S. = Puzzle Solutions!**

TIME RAN = **MARTINE**

Eric’s average speed for the entire run was **2.4 metres per second**. That can be verified using the formula Average Speed = 2vw Γ· (v+w), in which v=3 and w=2, the respective speeds for the outward and return runs covering *equal* distances.

PRC CALORIES can turn one’s diet upside down because they make **RECIPROCALS** !! π

Regarding length L, width W and height H, when a cube has L = W = H = **6**cm, then its volume = 6 x 6 x 6 = 216 cubic centimetres, and the total surface area of its six faces is 216 square centimetres because each one of the faces has an area of 6 x 6 = 36 square centimetres.

In the cuboid part of the brainteaser, a **maximum whole number height of 42cm** is achievable when the length and width are 3cm and 7cm in either order.

Given that the volume was numerically equal to the total surface area, I used LWH = 2LW + 2LH + 2WH and then 1 = 2/H + 2/W + 2/L.

Letting L=3 helps to βuse upβ two thirds of the 1, leaving only one third or 2/6. So W canβt then be 6, but it can be 7, letting us solve directly for the optimal H.

(If the length and width are 4cm and 5cm in either order, we would find that H = 20cm; smaller than our optimal 42cm.)

In the Multiplication Magic Square, ** we must have the number 10 in the central box**,

**and all the other factors of one hundred**can be filled in the rows in (for example) this order (starting from the top-left box):- 20, 1, 50; 25, centre 10, 4; 2, 100, 5.

In the reciprocals brainteaser, **the lady is 44 and her younger sister was born in the year 1980**.

It makes use of the fact that 1/n – 1/(n+1) = 1/(n(n+1)). In the puzzle, n(n+1) has to be the year when the younger sister was born. The only value for n that gives a suitable value for n(n+1) in the reasonably recent past is n=44, and then n(n+1) = 44 x 45 = 1980.

In the number bases brainteaser, 222 (base N) has the value of 2 + 2 x N + 2 x N squared. If you were to generate an accurate table of different values for N and the corresponding values of 2 + 2 x N + 2 x N squared, it would show, for example, that 2 + 2 x N + 2 x N squared = 146 when N = 8 and 2 + 2 x N + 2 x N squared = 926 when N = 21 and 2 + 2 x N + 2 x N squared = 1014 when N = 22.

So, the answers asked for in the puzzle are:- **B = 8; xyz = 926; N = 21**.

In the Chess puzzle, **1 Bg5+ Kg8 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qh8# is the fastest win for White.**

**If it were actually Black’s turn to move**, then (though it’s true that 1…Qxg3+ would win easily) **the quickest forced win is 1…Rh1+! 2 Kxh1 Qg1#**, a key checkmating pattern π