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?

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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?

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 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?

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?

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

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?

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

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

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.

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?

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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

Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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. . . .

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?

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?

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.

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

Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?