Blog Post #103: Early Happy Birthday Wishes for Max…and for me!!

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, I said to Max, “Have a wonderful, happy birthday in a week’s time!”, and tomorrow Max could say exactly the same to me!

Max, a great student at my previous school.

OK, so you already know that Max and I both have June birthdays, with Max’s on the 11th, and mine on the 13th. Let’s enjoy a wee dose of fun with those numbers and more…

Continue reading “Blog Post #103: Early Happy Birthday Wishes for Max…and for me!!”

Blog Post #102: Happy Birthday Wishes Amplified for Romy H., with thanks also to Tessa VG.

Dear Readers,

I am very grateful for still being able to hear pretty well, thanks to having wonderful hearing aids from Amplifon.

Grateful for Hearing

Living in Belgium, I have already received lots of excellent, expert care from former/current Amplifon employees including Anais, Elena L., Romy H. and Tessa VG.

Amplifon experts Romy H. & Tessa VG.

Let’s wish Romy a super happy birthday today,

Scrumptious level Amplified!

and we can all enjoy an original puzzle involving Romy’s favourite one-digit number together with Tessa VG’s different favourite single-digit number. Let’s denote the favourite numbers by R and T respectively.

In the spirit of good fun, the ladies have allowed me to tell you a bit more…! The two-digit number RT (meaning not R x T, but rather the two-digit number with digits R and T in normal base ten) is equivalent to 111 in base T.

One possibility might have been 13 (in normal base ten) equals 111 in base 3, because 1113=1+3+32=13ten. However, the true solution for the ladies’ RT is not 13, but something else…

Your fun challenge is to now figure out the precise values of R and T. Then calculate R2 to discover Romy’s new age today!

The puzzle answers will be given in just a few M😊ments…

First, something I left until right here, here are a couple of classic ear jokes to hear!!

What three ears did Captain Kirk have?

His left ear, his right ear, and the final frontier!

How much does it cost a pirate to pierce his ears? – A buccaneer!!

Oh, wait…Captain Kirk just told me a third one…!

What did the left ear say to the right ear…?

Between us, something smells…

…goodness knows, goodness nose what!

How tricky is it to eat chocolate gateaux?!…

…It’s ‘a piece of cake’!

Here’s wishing Romy 100% joy. She’s turning 100 today…but only in number base R !! 😊😊
Continue reading “Blog Post #102: Happy Birthday Wishes Amplified for Romy H., with thanks also to Tessa VG.”

Blog Post #101: Super Sigurd advances from 10 to 11 !

Dear Friends,

All the posts are free for everyone to enjoy, and today’s one is specially dedicated to Super Sigurd, the youngest of three children in a lovely Norwegian family with whom I often had the pleasure of doing fun Maths and Chess.

Happy memories with dear friends four years ago

Sigurd is turning 11 today, and so we have lots of nice, sneaky surprises…!

Happy Birthday, Sigurd!

It’s Wednesday, and W is the 23rd letter of the English alphabet. So, let’s start with the number 23.

Multiply by 19, because S (for Super Sigurd!) is the 19th letter of the alphabet.

Multiply by my favourite number, 3.

To crown this surprise, multiply by 11, Sigurd’s new age.

The result of 14421 is to wish Sigurd an unforgettable, happy birthday on 14.4.21=today !

Also, 14421 ÷ 11 = 1311,

like saying to Sigurd, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY (13 letters), 11 !”

Furthermore, it’s fun to note that, by changing just one digit, we have two ways of turning 1311 into a pretty palindrome…

Either change it to 1331, which equals 11 x 11 x 11

OR change it to 1111, which equals this blog post number times Sigurd’s new age: 101 x 11 = 1111.

It’s time now for Sigurd’s birthday chess puzzle…

Where exactly is White’s invisible queen if it’s White to play and force checkmate in two moves!?

Before revealing the chess solution, here’s a simple-looking yet rather enjoyable wee ‘word sum’ to increase the fun today…!

In ONE + ONE = TWO, each different letter stands for a different digit and each same letter stands for the same digit. The general digit options are 0-9, but neither O nor T can be 0 because ONE and TWO stand for proper three-digit numbers.

Your double fun challenge is to figure out the minimum possible value of ONE + ONE and also the maximum possible value of ONE + ONE if it equals TWO !

That’s a beautiful one + one for Sigurd’s 11th birthday, and yet it’s just a tiny illustration showing that, in Maths and everything created by God, there’s a limitless universe of surprises infinitely beyond our imagination still waiting to delight us for eternity in Heaven.

Write any whole number you want. The ‘sky’s the limit’ to how big it can be! Just when you think you’re finished writing it, on the right-hand end, start writing it all again in reverse order! For Super Sigurd’s 11th birthday, your final number will be an exact multiple of 11 ! For example, Sigurd’s big sister and brother have their birthdays in the 11th month (November) on day 15 and 22 respectively. 1551 ÷ 11 = 141 exactly, a nice number from pmotwani141@gmail.com ! 2222 ÷ 11 = 202, which is exactly double the number of this Blog Post 101 !

Sigurd’s Birthday Chess Puzzle Solution

With the ‘invisible queen’ now visible on f7, White can use the g5-pawn to capture Black’s knight with 1 gxh6, and there’s simply no way to prevent checkmate coming on White’s very next move!

Sigurd’s ONE + ONE = TWO Sneaky Birthday Maths Brainteaser Solution

In this TWO-story,

the minimum possible value of ONE + ONE is 412

and

the maximum possible value of ONE + ONE is 964.

Very warm congratulations for finding either or both of those values.

To conclude this article, I would like to wish Sigurd and everyone a really wonderful, happy day now.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul Mtwani xxx

P.S. Even when he was a grade 1 primary school student several years ago, young Sigurd already loved to do great mental calculations, and he understood mathematical concepts such as squaring, with 122 = 144 being one of his favourite examples, not only on 14/4 ! So, as an extra birthday treat, we have the following b☺nus brainteaser f☺r Sigurd…

Handy chart of the first hundred positive Square Numbers

Can you discover a future year in which

the total of the year + Sigurd’s age on his birthday in that year

would together make a Square Number ?

God-willing as always, it is my hope and intention to publish a solution at the time of the next blog post, or possibly even sooner.

SOLUTION to Super Sigurd’s Bonus Brainteaser (being posted on 14 May 2021)

In the year 2063, Sigurd will be 53. Then, 2063+53=2116, which is equal to 46 squared, since 46 x 46 = 2116.

Blog Post #100: A Priceless Gift of Love for Easter

Dear Friends,

No securer intro. is possible than to say honestly and happily that I am celebrating with gratitude an event which can be discovered by rearranging the letters of OUR CENTRE SIR (or of securer intro).

The true message of Easter celebrates the RESURRECTION of Jesus, triumphing over death and marking the beginning of a new covenant between God and people, through which everyone who believes will enjoy eternal life.

The Good News Translation of John 3:16 in The Bible is: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.”

That is really clear and wonderful news for everyone who will simply recognise and accept with sincere thanks the priceless gift.

The most important news has rightly been shared first.

I do have a lovely, fresh puzzle to offer now, too.

It involves a true story about 12 people who are all either students or colleagues of mine at the magical Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium. (Some of them are pictured in this article.)

I asked each person to pick his/her absolute favourite number. The 12 people picked 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19.

As only seven different numbers were picked by the 12 people, we can realise that some people must have picked the same number as each other.

I will now add a couple of very significant extra facts. The numbers 7, 8 and 9 were all equally popular. Also, the grand total sum of the 12 people’s numbers was 133.

Your fun brainteaser is to figure out precisely how many people picked each of the listed numbers 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19.

I hope to be back in person at the school on 19 April, and on that day I would love to award a special prize to the student(s) and/or colleague(s) who might send me good solutions by email before this coming Easter Monday, 5 April. Aim high, dear friends!

Aiming High towards Heaven

In the meantime, please enjoy a delightful selection of photos which shows some of the Musica Mundi School Family almost literally reaching for the sky!

God-willing as always, a full solution to the brainteaser prize puzzle will be published at the time of the next blog post, or possibly even sooner.

Update being posted now on Easter Monday, 5 April 2021

Special congratulations to Elaine G., a dear Scottish friend who solved the brainteaser. A scrumptious Easter gift is already on its way to Elaine’s home in Edinburgh.

Easter Eggs for Elaine!

Here is a complete, clear, step-by-step method for finding the unique solution to the brainteaser.

Step 1: The sum of the seven numbers 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19 is 7 + 8 + 9 + 11 + 13 + 16 + 19 = 83. That would be the total if each of the seven numbers occurred just once each, picked by seven people.

Step 2: The grand total sum of 133 (for 12 people’s numbers) was included in the info. given in the puzzle, and is 50 more than 83. So, five people’s numbers must have a total sum of 50.

Step 3: At least one of those five people’s numbers must be 9 or less, since if they were all 11 or more, then their total would be greater than 50.

Step 4: However, we were also given (in the info. with the puzzle) that the “numbers 7, 8 and 9 were all equally popular.” So, since we know (from Step 3) that at least one of the numbers 7, 8, 9 must occur twice, it follows that all three of them occur twice, in order to be “equally popular.” (Note that 7, 8, 9 cannot occur three times each, together with 11, 13, 16, 19 at least once each, because that would take more than 12 people to have picked the numbers!)

Step 5: Having established that ten of the 12 people must have picked 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, the total sum so far is 107. To reach the final target of 133, the remaining two people’s numbers must total 26, and must be from 11, 13, 16, 19, since we already know that none of 7, 8, 9 can feature a third time. The only way to finish the job correctly is with 13, 13 for the ‘missing’ two numbers.

In summary, the solution is: 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 11, 13, 13, 13, 16, 19.

In her email to me several hours ago, Elaine presented her solution succinctly and prettily like this:

1 x 11 16 19  = 46

2 x  7  8  9    = 48

3 x  13            = 39

                          – – – – 

                           133 👌

Elaine has sometimes said that Maths is not really her thing, but it’s great that she was willing and not afraid to have a good go at the brainteaser…and she succeeded in style! Congratulations again!

Blog Post #101 is very likely to include an original chess brainteaser that I composed recently…

Right now, though, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, happy weekend.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul Motwani xxx

Blog Post #98: Fabulous Friday Fun For A Fantastic Four!

Dear Readers,

Get ready to laugh or be surprised, or do both!

When I tried to emulate my wife in preparing a popular combination of goulash and savory roulade, she employed a regular formula to breeze round little cook using angular momentum!

That 30-word sentence honestly contains more than a grain of truth in it!

Continue reading “Blog Post #98: Fabulous Friday Fun For A Fantastic Four!”

Blog Post #97: Early happy birthday wishes for Helen, a bright, shining light

Dear Readers,

The meaning of the name Helen is ‘bright, shining light’, and that well describes Mrs. Helen Coyne-Wincott, a lovely English teacher colleague of mine at Musica Mundi School.

In addition to being fluent in several languages, Helen is also very good at Mathematics, and she’s a highly talented musician, too, with special expertise on a particular instrument… You’ll discover which one, and lots more, in the following feast of fun puzzles that is an early celebration for Helen’s birthday coming in 3 days’ time! I have Helen’s permission to post numerous surprises. So, let’s magnify Helen’s enjoyment, OK!

Continue reading “Blog Post #97: Early happy birthday wishes for Helen, a bright, shining light”

Blog Post #95: For Two Lovely Ladies xx

Dear Readers,

This blog post is specially dedicated to the two lovely ladies pictured here.

There are numerous nice surprises prepared for the sweet sisters, and you can also enjoy following their treasure trail of goodies about to appear…!

The lady on our right, when facing the photo, is Annabel, the wonderful House Mother at Musica Mundi School (where I work as the Mathematics Teacher). We’re wishing her sister a fabulous, fun birthday today. She has a beautiful name that you’ll discover via a pair of puzzles!!

Continue reading “Blog Post #95: For Two Lovely Ladies xx”

Blog Post #92: Rainbow of Love

Dear Readers,

The Bible contains so many true, perfect messages that can strengthen us all with hope and reassurance of happiness in Heaven after our short lives on Earth now, which are like moments compared to the eternal gift prepared for us. We just need to believe in, and accept, the gift with gratitude to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within us, freely available as a constant guide to help us now. With all sincerity, we should realise now that words within John 14:2 give us an even lovelier message than in any sweet Valentine card: “There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so.”-Good News Translation.

Continue reading “Blog Post #92: Rainbow of Love”

Blog Post #91: Unforgettable Memories!

Dear Readers,

Just a few days ago, I received a lovely surprise message from Bob Mitchell, a Scottish chess friend whom I haven’t seen for very many years. I remembered Bob immediately, as he was always friendly and funny as well as being a talented, attacking chess player. The descriptive words FUN BATTLE GOER come quickly to mind!

Here’s a sneaky word puzzle in Bob’s honour: rearrange the letters of

FUN BATTLE GOER

to make a proper 13-letter English word which also describes Bob!

Continue reading “Blog Post #91: Unforgettable Memories!”

Blog Post #88: 39916800 Surprises for Herman & Others!

Dear Readers,

Based on the high number of jokes that I’ve cracked with my students, my colleagues and the school leaders at Musica Mundi School, some of them concluded (correctly) that my wife and my family must be “very courageous” to bear with such humour at home, too!

I was planning to say to Headmaster Herman that I’m only going to teach subtraction from now on because I just want to make a difference, but he’d have to deduct more points from my dossier…though I might be gifted a high-speed, one-way trip to the moon!

Continue reading “Blog Post #88: 39916800 Surprises for Herman & Others!”