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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Trial and improvement

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Sandwiches

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and between the two 3's there are three digits.

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Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

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Only Connect

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The graph represents a salesman’s area of activity with the shops that the salesman must visit each day. What route around the shops has the minimum total distance?

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Pair Sums

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

Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?

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Magic Potting Sheds

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

Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?

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Sliding Game

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.

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Inky Cube

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

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

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Arrange the Digits

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

Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?

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Cops and Robbers

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find a reliable strategy for choosing coordinates that will locate the robber in the minimum number of guesses?

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Got a Strategy for Last Biscuit?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you beat the computer in the challenging strategy game?

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Tubular Path

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

Can you make the green spot travel through the tube by moving the yellow spot? Could you draw a tube that both spots would follow?

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Fifteen Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?

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Junior Frogs

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?

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What's it Worth?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?

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Alphabet Soup

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once it must represent the same digit each time.

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Arranging the Tables

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

There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.

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Gr8 Coach

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

Can you coach your rowing eight to win?

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One to Eight

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

Complete the following expressions so that each one gives a four digit number as the product of two two digit numbers and uses the digits 1 to 8 once and only once.

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How Many Miles to Go?

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

A car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers contain the same digits in the same order?

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Fractions in a Box

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

The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.

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Football Champs

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

Three teams have each played two matches. The table gives the total number points and goals scored for and against each team. Fill in the table and find the scores in the three matches.

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3388

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

Using some or all of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and using the digits 3, 3, 8 and 8 each once and only once make an expression equal to 24.

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One Million to Seven

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

Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add, subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?

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Lost

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you locate the lost giraffe? Input coordinates to help you search and find the giraffe in the fewest guesses.

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Cycling Squares

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

Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?

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Well Balanced

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Exploring balance and centres of mass can be great fun. The resulting structures can seem impossible. Here are some images to encourage you to experiment with non-breakable objects of your own.

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Tower Rescue

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his friend trapped in the tower.

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Twenty Divided Into Six

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

Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?

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Top Coach

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

Carry out some time trials and gather some data to help you decide on the best training regime for your rowing crew.

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Difference

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

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Prison Cells

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

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?

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Pizza Cut

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

Using only six straight cuts, find a way to make as many pieces of pizza as possible. (The pieces can be different sizes and shapes).

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Rabbits in the Pen

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

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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Archery

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine picking up a bow and some arrows and attempting to hit the target a few times. Can you work out the settings for the sight that give you the best chance of gaining a high score?

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Plenty of Pens

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Amy's mum had given her £2.50 to spend. She bought four times as many pens as pencils and was given 40p change. How many of each did she buy?

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

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

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Long Multiplication

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

A 3 digit number is multiplied by a 2 digit number and the calculation is written out as shown with a digit in place of each of the *'s. Complete the whole multiplication sum.

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Cat Food

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Sam sets up displays of cat food in his shop in triangular stacks. If Felix buys some, then how can Sam arrange the remaining cans in triangular stacks?

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How Many Eggs?

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

Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.

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Special 24

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

Find another number that is one short of a square number and when you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.

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Zios and Zepts

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

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Strike it Out for Two

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?

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What Two ...?

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these two numbers?

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A Mean Tetrahedron

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

Can you number the vertices, edges and faces of a tetrahedron so that the number on each edge is the mean of the numbers on the adjacent vertices and the mean of the numbers on the adjacent faces?

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Top-heavy Pyramids

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

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

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Path to the Stars

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

Is it possible to draw a 5-pointed star without taking your pencil off the paper? Is it possible to draw a 6-pointed star in the same way without taking your pen off?

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The Clockmaker's Birthday Cake

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?

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Escape from the Castle

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

Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?

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Factor Track

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

Factor track is not a race but a game of skill. The idea is to go round the track in as few moves as possible, keeping to the rules.