Blog Post #81: Top of the Class, Nice Niklas!!

Dear Readers,

It is with great pleasure that I thank everyone who participated in the ‘Good Lives Global Prize Competition’ (see Blog Post #80).

Andy H. from Scotland was the very first person to reply with all the mathematical puzzles completely correct. Andy loves challenge puzzles so much that he simply wanted to enjoy them without being given a prize. So, in recognition of his excellent attitude, we have a bonus puzzle in Andy’s honour, down below.

Before then, I want to congratulate Quintijn van Heek (an A-Level Maths student of mine) and Krissy Teng (another great student at the beautiful Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium) for also solving all the mathematical puzzles. Well done, Quintijn and Krissy!

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Blog Post #80: Good Lives Global Prize Competition!

Dear Readers,

Welcome to this ‘Good Lives Global Prize Competition’ with free entry for everyone of every country! The more puzzles you solve, the better for sure, but you may possibly still receive some prize for submitting some good answers even if they’re not all perfect. So, please don’t be shy! Just go ahead and enjoy the puzzles (detailed below), and don’t hesitate to send in your answers by email to pmotwani141@gmail.com, preferably by Sunday 17 January; the sooner, the better for you!

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Blog Post #79: For Elizabeta!

Dear Readers,

It’s quite late now in Belgium, but I still really wanted to write this wee article tonight as a nice, extra boost for Elizabeta, a truly outstanding Maths student (at Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium) who always produces terrific work!

Let’s have a fun word puzzle, right now!

Leave out just the very last letter of I DREAM CHESS, and use all of the other ten letters to make the name of a famous Greek mathematician from long ago…

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Blog Post #78: Super-Smart Young Ladies!

Dear Readers,

Every morning, I wake up with happiness and gratitude for God’s countless gifts,

including my job as the Mathematics teacher for wonderful students at Musica Mundi School, founded in Waterloo, Belgium, by Hagit Hassid-Kerbel and her husband, Leonid Kerbel.

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Blog Post #75: Turn Over A New Leaf

Dear Readers,

I first heard the saying ‘Turn over a new leaf’ as a little boy, long ago. I have found the words to be very good, refreshing, encouraging and helpful for making positive changes. I can’t think of a better day to seriously consider turning over a new leaf than on All Saints’ Day, today.

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Blog Post #74: For Genevieve, Julie, Marcello, Timothee and Yordi!!

Dear Readers,

This post is just in time to wish Genevieve a very happy birthday tomorrow, while it’s exactly nine weeks early for the birthday of Genevieve’s mum, Julie, a lovely lady I know through my Mathematics teaching. A bright student named Timothee is a keen chess player, as are ‘Mathematical Marcello’ (a boy whom I remember well from my previous school, especially when as a little 8-year-old then, he mentally calculated 99×99=9801 in just a couple of seconds!) and Yordi, who is a very good friend of my son.

Photo by Christophe Gillain.

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Blog Post #73: Sneaky Surprises for Sacha!

Dear Readers,

Today we can enjoy sneaky puzzles in honour of Sacha, one of my son’s very best friends who had his birthday several days ago. I will say that his birthday was a particular whole number, n, days ago, and Sacha’s new age then was the square root of (500-n squared).

Your fun challenge is to figure out Sacha’s age on his birthday just past, and also his exact date of birth. Continue reading “Blog Post #73: Sneaky Surprises for Sacha!”

Blog Post #72: Appreciation of Beauty

Dear Readers,

I love to see, and appreciate with an attitude of gratitude, so much beauty in the natural world God created, as well as in the kind faces, words and actions of people who reflect God’s love through the way they live.

A recent father and son photo.

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Blog Post #71: Dual Jewels and Jules!

Dear Readers,

A few days ago, I received a nice surprise message from International Chess Master Rini Kuijf, an old friend and former Dutch Champion. In my reply, I mentioned that I have been having fun tackling numerous chess problems. Rini then sent me a neat pair of puzzles (given below) with White to play and win by force in both cases. The two positions are so similar that they could be considered to form a ‘dual’. To me, such puzzles with beautiful solutions are gems or jewels!

Let’s also wish “Happy birthday, Jules!” to English Grandmaster Julian Hodgson who’s 57 today. I celebrated by turning the clock back some years and playing through lots of his really impressive victories from before. As a bonus, I will feature two lovely, crisp finishes: one from 1992 with Julian (as White) to play and win in an endgame, and the other (from 1995) in which GM Stuart Conquest found a very ‘Hodgson-like’ speedy win for White.

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Blog Post #70: Back to the 70’s!

Dear Readers,

Today, my family has been busily and happily congratulating my son’s lovely girlfriend on turning 22. My personal message included the following sneaky fun surprise…

  • Pick any three-digit whole number which has three different digits from 1 to 9 (e.g. 236)
  • Write down all the two-digit whole numbers that can be made from your chosen three-digit number without repeating digits in the same number (e.g. 23, 26, 32, 36, 62, 63)
  • Add up all your two-digit numbers (e.g. 23+26+32+36+62+63=242)
  • Divide your total by the total of the digits in your chosen three-digit number (e.g. 242/(2+3+6)=242/11=22 for the birthday celebration today!)

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