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Previous Editions of the Transum Newsletter


Bogdan and Wally :: Saturday 1st August 2020

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of August 2020. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. Would you like to win the Ultimate Teacher Trophy? If so you need to win two games of Ultimate Noughts and Crosses in a row. You will... more

One Metre Rule Area Factor :: Wednesday 1st July 2020

June has turned into July and the summer holidays (for some) are upon us. Here are some ideas for End of Term Activities and Holiday Activities you may find useful. For this month's puzzle I have chosen a riddle I heard on the radio: ... more

Mathematical Days :: Newsletter for June 2020 :: Monday 1st June 2020

Another month flies by and we are now ready to welcome June and all it may have in store. I send you positive wishes and hope that you, your families and pupils are well and happy. You probably know that 14th March is known as Pi Day because th... more

Eva's Eggs and Fickle Fractions :: Friday 1st May 2020

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of May 2020 and I will begin by reminiscing. When I was 10 years old if I had been asked to name some famous mathematicians I would probably have said Pythagoras and Johnny Ball. The former obviously for ... more

Feeding Fools and Horses :: Wednesday 1st April 2020

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of April 2020. A newsletter to take your mind off the C word! The month began with April Fool's Day. Have you caught your pupils out yet? Set them today's Lesson Starter then sit back and wait for th... more

Balancing Balloons while School's Closed :: Sunday 1st March 2020

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of March 2020. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month which I heard on Signal Radio. Jamie and Ben each have some balloons. Ben said to Jamie "It's not fair, you have three times as many as me"... more

Awe-Sum and Flabbergasted! :: Saturday 1st February 2020

You are reading the Transum Newsletter for the month of February 2020; a month with 29 days due to the fact that this year is a leap year. On the 2nd February the date will be palindromic, it reads the same forwards as backwards w... more

Odds from evens up to 2020 :: Wednesday 1st January 2020

Welcome to 2020. I have been talking about this year for a long time. Ten years ago, when my job involved producing a long term technology development plan for the next ten years the report we produced was called 2020 Vision. Do you see what we did t... more

Wind and Snow in Lapland :: Sunday 1st December 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas so after first wishing you all the best for the festive season and informing that you can now open the first door of the (Maths) Advent Calendar I’ll continue with the puzzle of the month. ... more

Multiple Remainders :: Friday 1st November 2019

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of November. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. What is the second smallest number such that when it is divided by 5 the remainder is 4, and when divided by 7 the remainder is 6? While you... more

Coaches to Cambridge :: Tuesday 1st October 2019

It's October already; the month that begins with the ‘oct’ prefix but is the tenth month of the year (do you know the reason for that? – clue: think old calendars). I will begin the month, as usual, with a puzzle. I travelled by tr... more

Back To School for Percy Cod's Kids :: Sunday 1st September 2019

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of September. When I was a pupil, September was thought of as the Back to School month but I'm now aware that around the world this is not the case for everyone. So for some, happy new school year, an... more

Carrot-eating Critters :: Thursday 1st August 2019

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of August 2019. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. In a field there are 20 animals (donkeys, goats and rabbits) who between them eat 20 carrots. Each donkey eats 3 carrots, each goat eats 1... more

Red Arrow Square :: Monday 1st July 2019

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of July 2019. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. What fraction of the square does the red arrow cover? To be precise, the red arrow is a quadrilateral (kite) joining the mid point of the ... more

Puzzles, Riddles and Conundrums :: Saturday 1st June 2019

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of June 2019. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. Once upon a time Patsy wrote the following in her diary: "The day before yesterday Percy was 13 years old. Next year he will turn 16." How... more

Monkeys, Kittens and Dogs :: Wednesday 1st May 2019

It is an old joke but this newsletter is being written just before Star Wars Day  'May The Fourth Be With You!' But the other interesting thing about this month is that 1st May is the only first day of the month in 2019 which falls on a Wed... more

Path Puzzle, Poem, Percentages and Pranks :: Monday 1st April 2019

The first day of April is April Fool's Day. Let me know if your pupils were fooled by the Maths lesson Starter for 1st April called One out of Ten which is not what it seems. This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of April 2019 and&n... more

Pi Day following Pancake Day :: Friday 1st March 2019

As I sit here updating the Transum website I have the radio on for a little bit of background noise. The presenter (Max Mallen) has just asked the following riddle: If I start at five and add six I get eleven but if I start at six and add seven I ge... more

Prime Permutations :: Friday 1st February 2019

Think of all the ways of arranging the digits one to nine to make nine-digit numbers. How many of these nine-digit numbers are prime? It is not half as difficult as you may think! That’s your puzzle of the month for February and the answer is ... more

4-digit Hotel Room Safe Code :: Tuesday 1st January 2019

Happy New Year! This is the January 2019 Newsletter and it begins, just as all new years should begin, with a puzzle. I spent part of the holidays driving around the northern hills of Thailand. Each night I stayed in a different hotel and each of ... more

Maths Advent Calendar :: Friday 30th November 2018

Glad tidings and welcome to the Transum Subscribers’ Newsletter for December 2018. I am writing it a few days early due to the fact that I’ll be enjoying a weekend break in the sun when I would have normally written this on the first... more

Calculator Keys at the Corners of a Rectangle :: Wednesday 31st October 2018

Welcome to the Transum newsletter for November 2018. Here is this month’s puzzle. Type a four digit number on to your calculator. The keys used to type in this number must form a rectangle. Each digit should be one of the corners of this recta... more

31 Oct = 25 Dec :: Monday 1st October 2018

A very warm welcome to the Transum Mathematics newsletter for October 2018. It begins with the puzzle of the month. Five friends are talking about their house numbers. They work out that the mean is five, the mode is two, and the median is six.... more

9 Trafalgar Square Puzzles - One unsolved :: Saturday 1st September 2018

You have just begun reading the Transum Newsletter for September 2018 and, as usual, it begins with a puzzle for the month. My clock does not have any numbers on its face, just markers for each hour/five-minute interval. I looked at it in a mirror o... more

Delightfully Divisible :: Monday 30th July 2018

Best wishes for August wherever you may be. I am in the UK and am about to catch a train for Glasgow, a city I’ll be visiting for the first time. The record heat wave in the UK has come to an end and today water is falling from the clouds. I th... more

Hot Food and Weather :: Sunday 1st July 2018

This is a brief newsletter for the month of July because many of you will have your thoughts focused on the end of term and the holidays. Let’s begin with the puzzle of the month. Can you find five different integers that multipl... more

Square in Rectangle Puzzle :: Friday 1st June 2018

Despite this being the middle of the exam season for some I would still like to take your mind off your daily routine to present you with a puzzle. Imagine a 10cm by 15cm rectangle. What is the largest square that can be drawn snuggly in one corner ... more

The Royal Game of Ur :: Tuesday 1st May 2018

Yes, it’s May already and here is the latest Transum Mathematics Newsletter. I hope the year is going well for you and you are finding what you need on the Transum Mathematics website. The puzzle for this month was inspired by the recent Londo... more

9 New Maths Teaching Resources :: Sunday 1st April 2018

Hello, and welcome to the forty first Transum newsletter which is for the month of April 2018. What a pity April Fool's Day falls on a Sunday this year. You won't be able to catch your pupils out with the 1st April Starter! First on the agenda is th... more

Go Figure the best problem solving strategy :: Thursday 1st March 2018

In a break with tradition I am going to choose a puzzle of the month that I have already used as the monthly puzzle a couple of years ago. The reason is that two weeks ago I heard the most wonderful new solution to the puzzle that I’m sure you ... more

19 Hidden Gems for Deep Maths Learning :: Thursday 1st February 2018

This is the Transum Mathematics Newsletter for February 2018. This month’s puzzle comes from The Penguin Book of Puzzles, a collation of great puzzles from old, out of copyright books written by the prolific puzzle setters from way back. "Div... more

A Happy MMXVIII From Transum :: Monday 1st January 2018

Happy New Year. I hope that 2018 proves to be a good, positive number for you and that you, and your pupils, achieve all that you want during the next twelve months. If the Roman numeral in the title caught your eye you may like the Roman Numerals Q... more

Christmaths Activities For December :: Friday 1st December 2017

As December has begun I hope you don’t consider it too early for me to wish you a Merry Christmas. As usual this newsletter will begin with a puzzle of the month. A slightly more difficult puzzle this month that could keep you thinking right th... more

Ways to Count Sheep! :: Wednesday 1st November 2017

Welcome to the Transum Newsletter for November 2017 which has a bit of a sheep theme! The puzzle for this month is about Percy Cod and Patsy Eel who are both shepherds. They keep sheep in adjacent fields near the source of the river mint. Can you wo... more

7, reasons to get an exam question wrong :: Sunday 1st October 2017

This is the Transum Mathematics Newsletter for October 2017. As usual I will begin with the puzzle of the month. In the fantasy world of Maths puzzles there aren't any stopwatches but there are two egg timers. One of them measures 7 minutes and the ... more

Back To School (for some). :: Friday 1st September 2017

I hope you enjoy reading this, the September 2017 edition of the Transum Newsletter. It begins with the puzzle of the month. How many different ways are there of arranging the digits one to four to make a four digit number? That’s a familiar q... more

20 mathematical activities for the school holidays :: Tuesday 1st August 2017

Welcome to the Transum mathematics newsletter for August 2017 wherever in the world you are. Some of you are enjoying the long school summer holidays while for others it is business as usual. Before getting on to the main theme of this missive let&rs... more

Six maths learning questions that research can answer :: Saturday 1st July 2017

Welcome to the July 2017 Transum Newsletter. Before the news here is this month’s puzzle sometimes known as the Mystic Rose. Joining points with chords to divide a circle into regions[/caption] If there are two distinct points on the circumf... more

Three positive outcomes of failure in Maths :: Wednesday 31st May 2017

Welcome to the June 2017 Transum Newsletter. This month’s puzzle is about the Numlove family. Can you work out how many children are in the family from the following two clues? Each boy has the same number of brothers as sisters. Each girl ... more

Improving Average Exam Scores :: Monday 1st May 2017

Here is the Transum Mathematics Newsletter for May 2017. As last month’s puzzle was quite difficult (particularly if you did not have access to pen and paper), this month’s is a little easier. It’s the sort of puzzle that you could ... more

10 most popular Maths Lesson Starters :: Thursday 6th April 2017

Beginning as usual with a puzzle for the month but this time from Transum Subscriber Nigel Fearn. He contacted me to say how a good puzzle just cropped up the other day and is probable one we are all familiar with in a practical situation. ... more

7 Great Maths Games Replacing Exercises. :: Wednesday 1st March 2017

Before getting into the main theme of this newsletter let’s begin with this month’s puzzle. A 10cm long cylindrical hole is drilled straight through the centre of a solid sphere. What is the volume of the remaining part of the sphere? Th... more

5 Resources for Maths GCSE(9-1) :: Tuesday 17th January 2017

Hello and welcome to the Transum Mathematics newsletter for February 2017. It is being written a little earlier than normal to make up for the fact that there was no January newsletter and that I will be travelling later in the month at the time when... more

7 New Resources for the Maths Classroom :: Thursday 1st December 2016

Happy Christmas and welcome to the December 2016 edition of the Transum Mathematics newsletter. We will begin with the puzzle for this month: How many positive two-digit numbers are there whose square and cube both end in the same digit? The answer i... more

Trains North and South :: Tuesday 1st November 2016

Welcome to yet another newsletter from Transum Mathematics. As has become traditional I will start off with the monthly puzzle. Trains from Punspace station go either north or south. Those going north leave hourly, those going south leave hourly. If... more

October 2016 News :: Saturday 1st October 2016

This is the Transum Newsletter for October 2016, the 10th month of the year. Have you ever noticed that the month name begins with the suffix ‘Oct-‘ suggesting eight and not ten. There is a reason for that and a quick internet s... more

Mathematical Optical Illusions :: Thursday 1st September 2016

If you live in the northern hemisphere you are probably starting a new school year so happy new year to you. Wherever you live you are welcome to the Transum Mathematics newsletter for September 2016. As usual I will begin with the puzzle for this mo... more

Divisible By Three :: Friday 1st July 2016

Before reading the rest of this newsletter you are challenged to find five two digit numbers that are multiples of three. The ten digits used in your five numbers must all be different! Well that’s the puzzle for this month. The answer will be... more

BIDMAS Redesigned :: Wednesday 1st June 2016

This month’s puzzle is all about numbers when written as words.  Take the smallest positive whole number containing the letter 'a' away from the smallest positive whole number containing all of the vowels. Add to this total the number tha... more

A Square Triangle :: Sunday 1st May 2016

Hello and welcome to the newsletter for May 2016 which begins with this month’s puzzle for your pondering pleasure! A particular triangle is drawn such that each of its angles are square numbers. What are those angles? Too easy? Well consider... more

Tri Junction Puzzle :: Friday 1st April 2016

Easter has come early this year which means that many schools are currently still closed for the Easter holidays. That’s a pity! It means that you don’t get the opportunity to fool your pupils with the 1st April Starter. Next year maybe?... more

Two Prime Squares :: Tuesday 1st March 2016

Welcome to the March 2016 Transum Mathematics newsletter. I hope you made use of the 29th February Starter last month because it only appears every four years. As usual we will begin with the puzzle of the month. What is the smallest square num... more

February 2016 News :: Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Hello, I hope you are fit and well and ready straight away for February’s puzzle. It’s a story to make you think, calculate and wonder. Apologies to those who have been using the Starter of the Day regularly as they’ll probably have... more

Ticks, Tocks, Tacks and Tucks :: Friday 1st January 2016

Happy New Year to you, your family and your pupils. I hope 2016 brings you happiness and that a small part of that happiness comes from your use of the Transum online activities. We’ll start the year off with a strange puzzle for your ponderin... more

The Power of Christmas :: Tuesday 1st December 2015

Happy Christmas. This is the December Transum newsletter coming to you with lots of festive cheer and good wishes for the future. Here is the puzzle for this month. Noel and Merrie received some Christmas presents. The number of presents Noel receiv... more

Ant and Dec :: Sunday 1st November 2015

Welcome to another month of puzzles, challenges and investigations. I hope you have recovered from Halloween and your pupils weren’t too scared by the 31st October Starter! Let’s begin with the puzzle for this month. It’s about two... more

Bookworm's Breakfast :: Thursday 1st October 2015

In the days before Wikipedia and Google we might refer to an encyclopedia to find answers to our questions. The puzzle for this newsletter is based on a set of ten volumes of an encyclopedia on a bookshelf arranged in order with volume one on the lef... more

Three Mathematicians :: Tuesday 1st September 2015

It seems such a long time since the last newsletter but here it is again to welcome the month of September 2015. I have had a wonderful summer (northern hemisphere) and managed to visit lots of places and catch up with many old friends. I always had ... more

Pascal v Fermat :: Monday 1st June 2015

This is the June 2015 Transum Newsletter bringing you the latest news from Transum Mathematics. The puzzle for this month is about a game in which a coin is tossed repeatedly. If it comes up heads Pascal gets a point but if it comes up tails Fermat ... more

Alphabetical Number :: Monday 4th May 2015

It's an old joke but this newsletter is being written on Star Wars Day, 'May The Fourth Be With You!' The puzzle for this month is not, on the surface, strictly mathematical but, as you’ll see from the answer at the end of this newsletter, th... more

Best Dice Puzzle :: Wednesday 1st April 2015

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of the Transum Mathematics Newsletter. Did you start the month off with the April Fool’s Starter? Did your pupils fall for it? Your puzzle for this month is about a game called Best Dice in which t... more

March 2015 News :: Monday 2nd March 2015

Welcome to the March 2015 edition of the Transum Mathematics Newsletter. This month the focus is on probability and the puzzle for this month is one that all Maths teachers will probably (?) know the answer to. What is the minimum number of pupils th... more

February 2015 News :: Monday 2nd February 2015

This is the February 2015 Transum Newsletter bringing you the latest news from Transum Mathematics. During this past month I have been to the cinema and seen ‘The Imitation Game’ about the code cracking achievements of Alan Turing. I’m sure you ar... more

January 2015 News :: Monday 5th January 2015

Happy New Year! Best wishes for twenty-fifteen, or two thousand and fifteen or ‘two oh one five’. Which is the correct way to say the year? Well it certainly is not the third suggestion above. More about that later. One of my Christmas presents th... more

December 2014 News :: Thursday 27th November 2014

Dear All, This months' newsletter is a few days early due to an email received from Fox News but more about that later. This newsletter is for December so may I begin by wishing you a very happy Christmas. Many schools have special festive even... more

November 2014 News :: Saturday 1st November 2014

Another month has flown by and already it's November. When I was younger, November meant one thing and that was bonfire night. We looked forward so much to the fifth of November and lighting up the sky with the fireworks we had bought from the corner... more

October 2014 News :: Wednesday 1st October 2014

This is the October 2014 Transum Newsletter bringing you the latest news from Transum Mathematics. October brings autumnal colour to the northern hemisphere while welcoming warmer weather to those down under. The highlight for some is Halloween ... more

One Torch Tunnel :: Friday 1st August 2014

This is the August 2014 Transum Newsletter bringing you the latest news from Transum Mathematics. If you are in the UK or US you are probably enjoying your well earned summer holiday right now but if you are in Australia or New Zealand it's business ... more

Cube in Milk :: Monday 1st September 2014

This is the September 2014 Transum Newsletter bringing you the latest news from Transum Mathematics. If you are in the UK or US it is 'Back To School' time while the rest of you it is 'Business as Usual'. Talking of 'Back To School' it is the time t... more

Draft version

Template :: Friday 14th July 2158

This is the Transum Newsletter for the month of #######. It begins, as usual with the puzzle of the month. While you think about that here are some of the key resources added to the Transum website during the last month. This time last year I was w... more

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