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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
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?
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
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...
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
A Sudoku with a twist.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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. . . .
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?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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. . . .
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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. . . .
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.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
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?