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

9 Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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.

You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

Ratio Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

Rainstorm Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

Where Can We Visit?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Gr8 Coach

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you coach your rowing eight to win?

Twinkle Twinkle

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Difference Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Consecutive Negative Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

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

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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

Pole Star Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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

Constellation Sudoku

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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.

More Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

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.

Medal Muddle

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Plum Tree

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

Olympic Logic

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Squares in Rectangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Weights

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

The Naked Pair in Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

Twin Line-swapping Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

Twin Chute-swapping Sudoku

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?

First Connect Three for Two

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Tetrahedra Tester

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Pair Sums

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

Inky Cube

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Sandwiches

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and between the two 3's there are three digits.

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Magnetic Personality

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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

LOGO Challenge - the Logic of LOGO

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?

Latin Squares

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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.

Intersection Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A Sudoku with a twist.

Seasonal Twin Sudokus

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

Ben's Game

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Integrated Sums Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Star Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Difference Dynamics

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?