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?
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?"
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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?
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?
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?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?
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?
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?
Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
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?
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 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?
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.
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.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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.
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.
A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.
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 pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
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.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
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.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Here is a Sudoku with a difference! Use information about lowest common multiples to help you solve it.
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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?
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
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?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.