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.

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?

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.

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.

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?

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.

Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.

Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?

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

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

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. . . .

Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?

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

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

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?

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

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one

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

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

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

in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that the amount in each ring is the same?

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.

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

A Latin square of order n is an array of n symbols in which each symbol occurs exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column.

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?

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

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

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

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

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.