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Challenge level: Challenge Level:1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:3

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Centred Squares

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

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

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Magic Potting Sheds

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

Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?

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Being Thoughtful - Primary Number

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

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It Figures

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

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?

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Trebling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you replace the letters with numbers? Is there only one solution in each case?

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All the Digits

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

This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?

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Six Is the Sum

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

What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?

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Ones Only

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

Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.

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Mystery Matrix

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

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

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Neighbours

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

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

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Sweets in a Box

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

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Curious Number

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

Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?

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Button-up Some More

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

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

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Broken Toaster

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

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Multiply Multiples 1

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?

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The Moons of Vuvv

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?

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Sums and Differences 1

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

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Multiply Multiples 3

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?

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ABC

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

In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?

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Sums and Differences 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?

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Worms

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

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?

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Multiplication Squares

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.

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Build it up More

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

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

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Multiply Multiples 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?

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Greater Than or Less Than?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?

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Build it Up

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?

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Is a Square a Rectangle?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?

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Adding Plus

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

Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?

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Calendar Cubes

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

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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Snails' Trails

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?

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The Pet Graph

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?

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A Mixed-up Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?

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Buying a Balloon

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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Factor Lines

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

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Multiples Grid

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

What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?

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Seven Pots of Plants

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

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

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Symmetry Challenge

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

Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.

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Ancient Runes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?

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Palindromic Date

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

What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?

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Fake Gold

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?

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Octa Space

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

In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

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

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 jugs.

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5 on the Clock

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

On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock over a whole day?

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Eight Queens

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

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

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

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Stairs

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

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Seven Square Numbers

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

Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.

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One to Fifteen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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Sealed Solution

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

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?

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1 to 8

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.