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Minus One Two Three

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Substitute -1, -2 or -3, into an algebraic expression and you'll get three results. Is it possible to tell in advance which of those three will be the largest ?

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Matchless

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

There is a particular value of x, and a value of y to go with it, which make all five expressions equal in value, can you find that x, y pair ?

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Ladder and Cube

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

A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?

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Tet-trouble

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...

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Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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Dating Made Easier

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

If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?

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Power Mad!

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

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

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Odd Differences

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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Funnel

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

A plastic funnel is used to pour liquids through narrow apertures. What shape funnel would use the least amount of plastic to manufacture for any specific volume ?

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The Legacy

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex- pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order to ensure the best return on the money?

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Beelines

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

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Why 24?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

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Always Perfect

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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CD Heaven

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

All CD Heaven stores were given the same number of a popular CD to sell for £24. In their two week sale each store reduces the price of the CD by 25% ... How many CDs did the store sell at. . . .

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

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

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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Weights

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

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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Nicely Similar

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side lengths for the original right-angled triangle?

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Perfectly Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

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Areas and Ratios

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

What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.

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Largest Product

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

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

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Sending a Parcel

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

What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid) parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?

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Negative Power

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

What does this number mean ? Which order of 1, 2, 3 and 4 makes the highest value ? Which makes the lowest ?

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Litov's Mean Value Theorem

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

Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?

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Cola Can

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

An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is 6 cm what is the can's height?

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Salinon

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

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Semi-detached

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the same radius.

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Inscribed in a Circle

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

The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is, satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle with a unit radius?

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In a Box

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

Chris and Jo put two red and four blue ribbons in a box. They each pick a ribbon from the box without looking. Jo wins if the two ribbons are the same colour. Is the game fair?

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

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Cuboids

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

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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Arclets

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

Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n "nodes".

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Handshakes

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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Quadrilaterals Game

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape, and. . . .

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Areas of Parallelograms

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

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Marbles in a Box

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

In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?

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Compare Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?

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Circle-in

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15 and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?

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Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether advice is good or not?

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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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Two Ladders

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Two ladders are propped up against facing walls. The end of the first ladder is 10 metres above the foot of the first wall. The end of the second ladder is 5 metres above the foot of the second. . . .

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Napkin

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

A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .

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Trapezium Four

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?

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Searching for Mean(ing)

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

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

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Chances Are

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Which of these games would you play to give yourself the best possible chance of winning a prize?

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Where to Land

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?

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M, M and M

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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Attractive Rotations

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72 degrees or...

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Route to Infinity

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

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

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Mirror, Mirror...

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

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On the Edge

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

Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .