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.
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
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?
Can you see who the gold medal winner is? What about the silver medal winner and the bronze medal winner?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Follow the clues to find the mystery number.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
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.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
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.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
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 work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?