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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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?
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?
How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?
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?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
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.
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.
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.
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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?
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.
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?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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?
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?
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.
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.
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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...
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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. . . .
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
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. . . .
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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. . . .
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?
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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.
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.