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.
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.
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?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
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.
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
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.
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?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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 the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15
with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning
and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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.
A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from
her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by
saying, "Well, how old are they?"
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.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
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?
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?
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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.
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 use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out
what the coins are?
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?
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?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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?
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?
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.
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?
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. . . .
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?