Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's
there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and
between the two 3's there are three digits.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey
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?
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes
totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the
different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and
what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the
shapes in the picture?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which
route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
Place this "worm" on the 100 square and find the total of the four
squares it covers. Keeping its head in the same place, what other
totals can you make?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?