Sam displays cans in 3 triangular stacks. With the same number he could make one large triangular stack or stack them all in a square based pyramid. How many cans are there how were they arranged?

Here is a collection of puzzles about Sam's shop sent in by club members. Perhaps you can make up more puzzles, find formulas or find general methods.

The machine I use to produce Braille messages is faulty and one of the pins that makes a raised dot is not working. I typed a short message in Braille. Can you work out what it really says?

How many tricolour flags are possible with 5 available colours such that two adjacent stripes must NOT be the same colour. What about 256 colours?

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

Using only the red and white rods, how many different ways are there to make up the other colours of rod?

In how many ways can a pound (value 100 pence) be changed into some combination of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence coins?

Is it possible to use all 28 dominoes arranging them in squares of four? What patterns can you see in the solution(s)?

A game that demands a logical approach using systematic working to deduce a winning strategy

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league leaders.

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

How many six digit numbers are there which DO NOT contain a 5?

Four children were sharing a set of twenty-four butterfly cards. Are there any cards they all want? Are there any that none of them want?

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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.

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

Consider all of the five digit numbers which we can form using only the digits 2, 4, 6 and 8. If these numbers are arranged in ascending order, what is the 512th number?

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.

How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?

If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the given totals?

I start my journey in Rio de Janeiro and visit all the cities as Hamilton described, passing through Canberra before Madrid, and then returning to Rio. What route could I have taken?

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

Semaphore is a way to signal the alphabet using two flags. You might want to send a message that contains more than just letters. How many other symbols could you send using this code?

Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?

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?

Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?

In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?

There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?

When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.

Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?

In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.

Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .

Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?

Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column

A church hymn book contains 700 hymns. The numbers of the hymns are displayed by combining special small single-digit boards. What is the minimum number of small boards that is needed?

Jack has nine tiles. He put them together to make a square so that two tiles of the same colour were not beside each other. Can you find another way to do it?

A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out what the coins are?

In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

A lady has a steel rod and a wooden pole and she knows the length of each. How can she measure out an 8 unit piece of pole?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.