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.

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?

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.

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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.

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

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

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?

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 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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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?

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

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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 all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.

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?

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.

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?

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

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. . . .

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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

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

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?"

Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?

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

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?

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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