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?

Factorial one hundred (written 100!) has 24 noughts when written in full and that 1000! has 249 noughts? Convince yourself that the above is true. Perhaps your methodology will help you find the. . . .

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 possibility.

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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?

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

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?

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

How many different cubes can be painted with three blue faces and three red faces? A boy (using blue) and a girl (using red) paint the faces of a cube in turn so that the six faces are painted. . . .

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

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.

The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

A 'doodle' is a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. Only two lines cross at each intersection or vertex (never 3), that is the vertex points must be 'double points' not. . . .

Start with any triangle T1 and its inscribed circle. Draw the triangle T2 which has its vertices at the points of contact between the triangle T1 and its incircle. Now keep repeating this. . . .

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. . . .

Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?

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?

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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. . . .

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...

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

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. . . .

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}.

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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. . . .

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?

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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?

After some matches were played, most of the information in the table containing the results of the games was accidentally deleted. What was the score in each match played?

A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree. . . .

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?

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. . . .