There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
Susie took cherries out of a bowl by following a certain pattern.
How many cherries had there been in the bowl to start with if she
was left with 14 single ones?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What
happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you
change the position of the jigsaws?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not
using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in
whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
This is an adding game for two players.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street
in different ways.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Can you follow the rule to decode the messages?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals
of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy
pyramid whose top number is 200.
These alphabet bricks are painted in a special way. A is on one
brick, B on two bricks, and so on. How many bricks will be painted
by the time they have got to other letters of the alphabet?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?