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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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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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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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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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The Spider and the Fly

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

A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?

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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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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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Sweet Shop

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

Five children went into the sweet shop after school. There were choco bars, chews, mini eggs and lollypops, all costing under 50p. Suggest a way in which Nathan could spend all his money.

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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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Letter Land

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G = F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A, B, C, D, E, F and H.

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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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How Old Am I?

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

In 15 years' time my age will be the square of my age 15 years ago. Can you work out my age, and when I had other special birthdays?

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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. . . .

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Can They Be Equal?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?

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Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

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Think of Two Numbers

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

Think of two whole numbers under 10. Take one of them and add 1. Multiply by 5. Add 1 again. Double your answer. Subract 1. Add your second number. Add 2. Double again. Subtract 8. Halve this number. . . .

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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One and Three

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

Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .

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Rule of Three

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take 60,000 men to build a similar wall?

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1 Step 2 Step

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

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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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Elevenses

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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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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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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Making Sixty

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?

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Far Horizon

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

An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?

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Terminology

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

Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find one angle in terms of the other two.

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Two and Two

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

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

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Children at Large

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

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

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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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Hexy-metry

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

A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?

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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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Funny Factorisation

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

Some 4 digit numbers can be written as the product of a 3 digit number and a 2 digit number using the digits 1 to 9 each once and only once. The number 4396 can be written as just such a product. Can. . . .

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Tiny Nines

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find the decimal equivalents of the fractions one ninth, one ninety ninth, one nine hundred and ninety ninth etc. Explain the pattern you get and generalise.

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Repetitiously

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

The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is the sum of the denominator and numerator?

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Sissa's Reward

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

Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...

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Mixing Paints

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

A decorator can buy pink paint from two manufacturers. What is the least number he would need of each type in order to produce different shades of pink.

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Fractions Jigsaw

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are equivalent.

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Product Sudoku

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

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

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Difference Sudoku

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

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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How Much Can We Spend?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

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Dozens

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?

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14 Divisors

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

What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?

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Take Three from Five

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

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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Differences

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

Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the product of their differences will always be an even number?

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Mixing More Paints

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

Is it always possible to combine two paints made up in the ratios 1:x and 1:y and turn them into paint made up in the ratio a:b ? Can you find an efficent way of doing this?

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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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Thousands and Millions

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

Here's a chance to work with large numbers...

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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?