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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
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".
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 that uses transformations as supporting clues.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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 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. . . .
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the 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 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
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.
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
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