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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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?
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.
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
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.
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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 Sudoku with a twist.
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?
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?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
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?
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A Sudoku based on clues that give the differences between adjacent cells.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
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 second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.
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?
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.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
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?
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.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
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.
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.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.