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?
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear.
How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in
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?
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
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?
Three teams have each played two matches. The table gives the total
number points and goals scored for and against each team. Fill in
the table and find the scores in the three matches.
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.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord
which is tangent to the inner circle.
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.
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?
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 game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How
many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third
Can you fit Ls together to make larger versions of themselves?
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
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?
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.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in
this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
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.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
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
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. . . .
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?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy
pyramid whose top number is 200.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square 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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
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.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a
chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the
area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red
dashed. . . .
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of
the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP
must be less than 10 cm.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Is it true that any convex hexagon will tessellate if it has a pair
of opposite sides that are equal, and three adjacent angles that
add up to 360 degrees?
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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. . . .
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 two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
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.