Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to solve this Sudoku.

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.

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

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

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?

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.

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

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

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.

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.

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?

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?

Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can you make? Convince us you have found them all.

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?

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

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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.

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?

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

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

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...

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

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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.