Which of these games would you play to give yourself the best possible chance of winning a prize?
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?
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 ?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
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?
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?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
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.
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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?
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. . . .
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
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. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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. . . .
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
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?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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. . . .
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?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is
inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
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?
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. . . .
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.
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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.
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
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?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
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?