Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .

Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .

This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

Nine cross country runners compete in a team competition in which there are three matches. If you were a judge how would you decide who would win?

Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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?

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .

What can you say about the angles on opposite vertices of any cyclic quadrilateral? Working on the building blocks will give you insights that may help you to explain what is special about them.

What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?

Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .

These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?

If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .

Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.

Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.

A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .

Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.