The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
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.
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?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
A Sudoku with a twist.
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.
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
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 Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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?
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.
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?
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?
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
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 Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.
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.
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.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow