The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
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.
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
A Sudoku with a twist.
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
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.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
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. . . .
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?
This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
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.
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
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?