Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nÂ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

An AP rectangle is one whose area is numerically equal to its perimeter. If you are given the length of a side can you always find an AP rectangle with one side the given length?

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

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

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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. . . .

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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. . . .

The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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 find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

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.

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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.

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?