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?
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?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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 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.
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?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Use the differences to find the solution to this 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.
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
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.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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?
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?
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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...
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
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.
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
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.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
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?
Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you
three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and
keep repeating this. What happens?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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.
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
A Sudoku with a twist.
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?