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?
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 Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. The Greedy Algorithm might provide us with an efficient
way of doing this.
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. . . .
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the
next two rows?
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
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Which of these games would you play to give yourself the best possible chance of winning a prize?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle,
sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove
the formula linking x, y and r?
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
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
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. . . .
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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. . . .
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 ?
Rectangle PQRS has X and Y on the edges. Triangles PQY, YRX and XSP
have equal areas. Prove X and Y divide the sides of PQRS in the
Water freezes at 0°Celsius (32°Fahrenheit) and boils at
100°C (212°Fahrenheit). Is there a temperature at which
Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections 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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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. . . .
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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?
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 ?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two?
How about three, four or six?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Can you arrange these numbers into 7 subsets, each of three
numbers, so that when the numbers in each are added together, they
make seven consecutive numbers?
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?