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?
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.
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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.
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
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.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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.
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.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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 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?
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. . . .
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?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
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.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
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. . . .
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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?"
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.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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?