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 arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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?
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?
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top,
put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you
predict the last card?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.
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 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?
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?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
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?
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 that uses transformations as supporting clues.
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?
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.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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.
A Sudoku with a twist.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Use the differences to find the solution to 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.
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. . . .
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
This second Sudoku article discusses "Corresponding Sudokus" which are pairs of Sudokus with terms that can be matched using a substitution rule.