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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
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.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
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.
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. . . .
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?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
There are over sixty different ways of making 24 by adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing all four numbers 4, 6, 6 and
8 (using each number only once). How many can you find?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
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
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?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
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?
Find the numbers in this sum
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1
... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
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.
What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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.
This article suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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?
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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. . . .
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range
in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact
ages from the clues?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
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?
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?
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.
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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?
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