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Time and Calendars for MMXXII

Saturday 1st January 2022

May I wish you a Happy New Year and hope that the happiness continues all the way through 2022. This is the Newsletter for January and begins with the puzzle of the month.

My bedside clock displays four large digits to show the time in 24-hour format. For example it will show 2215 at 10:15pm and it will show 0630 when I get up in the morning. How many times in a 24 hour period do all four digits change at the same time?

Digital Clock

The answer will be at the end of this newsletter.

The beginning of a new year is a fitting time to think about calendars. Will the calendar for 2022 be the same as the calendar for a previous year? There are seven days of the week that the 1st January could occur on and the year could be a normal year or a leap year so that makes a total of 14 different possible calendars. When was the last year that was identical to 2022? The answer is below.

Around this time of year there are no shortage of TV programs providing top ten lists of the best somethings of 2021. Not to be outdone I have just looked at the server analytics records and here are the Transum Top Ten lists for the last twelve months:

    Most visited pages                       Location of visitors
1. Graph Plotter 1. United Kingdom
2. Online Logo 2. United States
3. Starter of the Day 3. Australia
4. Puzzles 4. India
5. Games 5. New Zealand
6. Transformation Tetris 6. Canada
7. Car Park 7. United Arab Emirates
8. TablesMaster 8. Thailand
9. Random Students 9. Malaysia
10. Measuring Angles 10. Philippines


I think all of you reading this newsletter in early January will be on holiday as of course will your pupils. You probably know that there is a section of the Transum website specifically designed to direct inquisitive minds to mathematical activities that are fun and rewarding to do at home until school reopens. Share this link for School Holiday Maths Activities to do at Home.

School Holiday Maths Activities


It is not often that a new topic is added to the list but I've just created a new strand called Proof. I have great plans to add to this resource in the coming months but already there are many linked resources which relate to the concept of proof in one way or another.

In addition to developing Transum I am also the honorary Chair of a British Scouting Overseas District. In the end-of-year Bulletin I always contribute a puzzle and this year's is called Fleur-de-lis. Can you solve it?

Fleur-de-lis puzzle

My mother is 89 now so will be celebrating a significant birthday soon. The aspect I’d like to examine is the use of ‘oh’ for nought or zero. For the whole of my teaching career I have told pupils that ‘oh’ is a letter that comes between n and p and it is not a number. But has common usage eroded this stance? For example:

The answer to these questions are clearly provided in a podcast I listen to called "Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips" by Mignon Fogarty. She says the ‘oh’ is acceptable when saying phone numbers, hotel room numbers, post codes or credit card numbers. Zero or nought should be used in mathematical or scientific contexts so that’s what I will conform to from now on and keep a note about this in the Style Guide.

Finally the answer to this month’s puzzle: 3 times

The last year to have the same calendar as 2022 was 2011. The next year will be 2033 (but beware of extrapolating!)

Stay safe,


P.S. What makes diced carrots mathematical? They are a cube(d) root!

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