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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Rainstorm Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Magic Caterpillars

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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

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Integrated Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Twin Corresponding Sudoku III

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Colour Islands Sudoku 2

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Product Doubles Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

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Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Rectangle Outline Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Wallpaper Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.

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Where Can We Visit?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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LOGO Challenge - Triangles-squares-stars

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

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LOGO Challenge - Pentagram Pylons

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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

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Ratio Sudoku 3

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.

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Product Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Ratio Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

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Product Sudoku

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

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You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Addition Equation Sudoku

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Twin Line-swapping Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Another Quadruple Clue Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Integrated Sums Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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. . . .

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LCM Sudoku II

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow....

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Multiplication Equation Sudoku

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Quadruple Clue Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Twin Corresponding Sudokus II

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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

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Pole Star Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Ratio Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

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Intersection Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A Sudoku with a twist.

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Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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LOGO Challenge - Sequences and Pentagrams

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?

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Latin Squares

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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.

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Seasonal Twin Sudokus

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Bochap Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.

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Quadruple Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Difference Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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Magnetic Personality

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St Clement's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Alphabetti Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.

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Equation Sudoku

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Plum Tree

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

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Sandwiches

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and between the two 3's there are three digits.

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9 Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Diagonal Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

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I've Submitted a Solution - What Next?

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.