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?

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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. . . .

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

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.

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.

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?

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?

Here is a Sudoku with a difference! Use information about lowest common multiples to help you solve it.

Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.

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

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

A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?

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?

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

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

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.

A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"

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

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.

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. . . .

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

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?

This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.

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.

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.

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.

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that the amount in each ring is the same?

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

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.

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

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

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?

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

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?

This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one

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

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