The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square 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?
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?
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
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?
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?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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.
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.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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.
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?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
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.
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. . . .
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
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...
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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.
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?
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?
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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.
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.
The puzzle can be solved by finding the values of the unknown digits (all indicated by asterisks) in the squares of the $9\times9$ grid.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH
website that could be suitable for students who have a good
understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take
on some. . . .