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. . . .
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 explain how this card trick works?
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
In this game the winner is the first to complete a row of three.
Are some squares easier to land on than others?
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. . . .
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. . . .
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
Find the numbers in this sum
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. . . .
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?
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?
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 suggests some ways of making sense of calculations involving positive and negative numbers.
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that
the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three
numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to. . . .
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?
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
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.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
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. . . .
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
Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.
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.
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American
Flag magic square.
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
Can you follow the rule to decode the messages?
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.
How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of
three children. Use the information to find out what the three
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you
notice when you add opposite ends?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns
numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make
141 414 turn around?
Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the
triangle adds to the same total.
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that
every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.