Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
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?
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?
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
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 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?
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?
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?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
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.
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 different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the
European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?
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.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where
you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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...
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a
triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word
ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
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.
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.