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.
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?
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
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 Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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?
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
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
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?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
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.
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
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.
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?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
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.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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.
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.
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.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
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?
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 puzzle can be solved by finding the values of the unknown digits (all indicated by asterisks) in the squares of the $9\times9$ grid.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
A Sudoku with a twist.