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Consecutive Numbers

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Tea Cups

Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.

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Counting on Letters

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

Crossing the Bridge

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Why do this problem?

I've set this as an introductory problem to a day's workshop on Problem Solving. Students reaction has often been "It's impossible!"

Once the problem was solved it provided a useful vehicle for discussing what mathematicians do when they are stuck: experiment, explore dead ends, discuss with friends, walk away from the problem and return to it later...

Teachers may want to use this problem to help students think about what they do when they want to give up.