What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product
of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers
should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I
type. . . .
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once.
Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only
A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers
numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in
each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit
numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Ann thought of 5 numbers and told Bob all the sums that could be made by adding the numbers in pairs. The list of sums is 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10,10, 11, 12. Help Bob to find out which numbers Ann was. . . .
This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six
distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with
digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change
colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of
meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start
with 12. . . .
There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all
the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting
all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Find the numbers in this sum
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three. Are some squares easier to land on than others?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of
its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
If you wrote all the possible four digit numbers made by using each
of the digits 2, 4, 5, 7 once, what would they add up to?
I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three
dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
In this 100 square, look at the green square which contains the numbers 2, 3, 12 and 13. What is the sum of the numbers that are diagonally opposite each other? What do you notice?
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to
help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to
use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
You have four jugs of 9, 7, 4 and 2 litres capacity. The 9 litre
jug is full of wine, the others are empty. Can you divide the wine
into three equal quantities?
Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page.
Circle any number on the top row, put a line through the other
numbers that are in the same row and column as your circled number.
Repeat. . . .
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?