An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
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?
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 many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
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.
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
This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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...
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?
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
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?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
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?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
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.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
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.