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.
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?
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 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.
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
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 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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
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?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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?
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
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.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
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 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.
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?
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...
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.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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.
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?