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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Reach 100

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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Pair Sums

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?

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Medal Muddle

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Football Sum

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

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Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St Clement's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

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Integrated Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Maths Trails

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

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Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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Shopping Basket

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Magic Caterpillars

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.

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More Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Constellation Sudoku

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.

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Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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Multiply the Addition Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Product Doubles Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

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Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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Difference Dynamics

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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First Connect Three for Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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Pole Star Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

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A First Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

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LOGO Challenge - Sequences and Pentagrams

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?

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An Introduction to Magic Squares

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

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Factors and Multiple Challenges

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

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Two and Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

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Magic W

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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 total.

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First Connect Three

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

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How Old Are the Children?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?"

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9 Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Tetrahedra Tester

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Olympic Magic

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Ones Only

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.

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Plum Tree

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

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Cayley

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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Coins

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out what the coins are?

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More on Mazes

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

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Magnetic Personality

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

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Warmsnug Double Glazing

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?

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Quadruple Clue Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.

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Another Quadruple Clue Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Multiplication Equation Sudoku

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Colour Islands Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

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Twin Corresponding Sudokus II

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

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Masterclass Ideas: Working Systematically

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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. . . .

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Intersection Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.

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Ben's Game

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow....

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Intersection Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A Sudoku with a twist.