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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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Money Bags

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

Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?

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Five Coins

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

Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?

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How Much Did it Cost?

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

Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.

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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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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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Dart Target

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

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.

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Zargon Glasses

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

Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?

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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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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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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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A-magical Number Maze

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

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!

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Rabbits in the Pen

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

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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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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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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Dice Stairs

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

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

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Round the Dice Decimals 1

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?

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Round the Three Dice

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?

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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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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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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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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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Coins (2)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?

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Sitting Round the Party Tables

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

Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.

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Two Egg Timers

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

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

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

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Prison Cells

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

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?

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Area and Perimeter

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

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Journeys in Numberland

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

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Spell by Numbers

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

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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Arranging the Tables

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

There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.

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On Target

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

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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X Is 5 Squares

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

Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?

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Hubble, Bubble

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

Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?

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How Old?

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

Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?

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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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Fifteen Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?

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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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Code Breaker

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

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?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

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

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?

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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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Shapes in a Grid

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

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?

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Dice and Spinner Numbers

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

If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be each time?

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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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Junior Frogs

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

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?

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Two Primes Make One Square

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

Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?

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Prompt Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

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Painting Possibilities

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

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .

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Take Three Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

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Four Colours

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

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.

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A Square of Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?