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

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Maths Trails

Stage: 2 and 3

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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Weights

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

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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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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Consecutive Negative Numbers

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

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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All-variables Sudoku

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

The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to solve this Sudoku.

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9 Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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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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Squares in Rectangles

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

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?

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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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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Ben's Game

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

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.

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LCM Sudoku II

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

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.

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Where Can We Visit?

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

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?

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Simultaneous Equations Sudoku

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

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.

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Two and Two

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

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

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Colour Islands Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

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Another Quadruple Clue Sudoku

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

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.

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Quadruple Clue Sudoku

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

Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.

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Intersection Sudoku 1

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

A Sudoku with a twist.

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More Magic Potting Sheds

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

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?

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Number Daisy

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Intersection Sudoku 2

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

A Sudoku with a twist.

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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

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.

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Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Addition Equation Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

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You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

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

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

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Cuboids

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

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?

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Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St Clement's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

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Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

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American Billions

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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...

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Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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M, M and M

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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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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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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Medal Muddle

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Tetrahedra Tester

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

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

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When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

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

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

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Advent Calendar 2011 - Secondary

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

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Round the Dice Decimals 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?

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Integrated Product Sudoku

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

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.

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Olympic Logic

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

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

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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?