The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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?
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.
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?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
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
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
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?
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?
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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.
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. . . .
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
Given the products of diagonally opposite 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.
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
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?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
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.
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.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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?
Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.