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.
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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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 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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
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?
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
A Sudoku with a twist.
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?
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?
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.
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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.
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.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios or fractions.
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers
1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
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
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.
In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.
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.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
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.
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.