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

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?

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?

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

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

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.

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. . . .

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?

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 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.

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

Four jewellers possessing respectively eight rubies, ten saphires, a hundred pearls and five diamonds, presented, each from his own stock, one apiece to the rest in token of regard; and they. . . .

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

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

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.

In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.

The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.

This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples 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. . . .

Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?

The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

Show that if three prime numbers, all greater than 3, form an arithmetic progression then the common difference is divisible by 6. What if one of the terms is 3?

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

A quadrilateral inscribed in a unit circle has sides of lengths s1, s2, s3 and s4 where s1 ≤ s2 ≤ s3 ≤ s4. Find a quadrilateral of this type for which s1= sqrt2 and show s1 cannot. . . .