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

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Home Time

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

Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the information to find out how long each road is on the route she took.

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Watch the Clock

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

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?

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Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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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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Crossing the Bridge

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

Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?

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Teddy Town

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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More on Mazes

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

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Intersection Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.

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Instant Insanity

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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A Child Is Full of ...

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day of the week was she born?

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Whose Face?

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

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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First Connect Three

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

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

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Wonky Watches

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

Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the real time) they arrived at the airport.

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Ladybird Box

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

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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Cayley

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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How Long Does it Take?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.

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Twinkle Twinkle

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Inky Cube

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

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?

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First Connect Three for Two

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

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.

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Tea Cups

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

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.

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How Many Times?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?

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Creating Cubes

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

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.

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Integrated Sums Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

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Family Tree

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

Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.

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Twin Corresponding Sudoku III

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

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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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Colour in the Square

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Product Doubles Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

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Rectangle Outline Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.

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Chocs, Mints, Jellies

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

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

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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Plates of Biscuits

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

Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?

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Colour Islands Sudoku 2

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

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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?

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Counting on Letters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

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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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Multiply the Addition Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

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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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Corresponding Sudokus

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.

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Extra Challenges from Madras

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

A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.

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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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Difference Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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The Third Dimension

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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Bochap Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.

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Triangles All Around

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

Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?

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LOGO Challenge - Triangles-squares-stars

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

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Shopping Basket

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

A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?