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?
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.
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
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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.
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?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
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.
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
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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 package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
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 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.
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".
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
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.
A Sudoku with a twist.
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
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.