You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier
than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two
weighings of the balance?
Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?
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.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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.
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.
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. . . .
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
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.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from
her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by
saying, "Well, how old are they?"
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
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.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
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.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
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?