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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
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 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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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.
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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?
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.
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?
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?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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. . . .
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
Can you coach your rowing eight to win?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
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.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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. . . .
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
A Sudoku with a twist.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
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. . . .
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 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?
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?