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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Trial and improvement

Cat Food

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Sam sets up displays of cat food in his shop in triangular stacks. If Felix buys some, then how can Sam arrange the remaining cans in triangular stacks?

Magic Triangle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.

Arranging the Tables

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.

Magic Squares 4x4

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American Flag magic square.

How Many Eggs?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.

Brothers and Sisters

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact ages from the clues?

Buckets of Thinking

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres. Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.

Prison Cells

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.

The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

Twenty Divided Into Six

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?

Rabbits in the Pen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

Plenty of Pens

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Amy's mum had given her £2.50 to spend. She bought four times as many pens as pencils and was given 40p change. How many of each did she buy?

The Clockmaker's Birthday Cake

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?

Number Juggle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).

One Wasn't Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Mrs Morgan, the class's teacher, pinned numbers onto the backs of three children. Use the information to find out what the three numbers were.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 once and only once, and the operations x and ÷ once and only once, what is the smallest whole number you can make?

Four-digit Targets

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

You have two sets of the digits 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make four-digit numbers as close to the target numbers as possible?

A Numbered Route

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?

Escape from the Castle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?

Fifteen Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?

A Shapely Network

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.

Oranges and Lemons

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?

Clever Santa

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many puzzles and books Santa left.

Let's Face It

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

In this problem you have to place four by four magic squares on the faces of a cube so that along each edge of the cube the numbers match.

Zios and Zepts

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

Difference

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

Special 24

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Find another number that is one short of a square number and when you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.

Rocco's Race

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level:

Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.

Pizza Cut

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Using only six straight cuts, find a way to make as many pieces of pizza as possible. (The pieces can be different sizes and shapes).

Augustus' Age

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

In 1871 a mathematician called Augustus De Morgan died. De Morgan made a puzzling statement about his age. Can you discover which year De Morgan was born in?

Junior Frogs

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?

Magic Matrix

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Find out why these matrices are magic. Can you work out how they were made? Can you make your own Magic Matrix?

Numbered Cars

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?

Fractions in a Box

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.

Path to the Stars

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to draw a 5-pointed star without taking your pencil off the paper? Is it possible to draw a 6-pointed star in the same way without taking your pen off?

Coded Hundred Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?

Long Multiplication

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A 3 digit number is multiplied by a 2 digit number and the calculation is written out as shown with a digit in place of each of the *'s. Complete the whole multiplication sum.

Area and Perimeter

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

Dice Stairs

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

What Two ...?

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level:

56 406 is the product of two consecutive numbers. What are these two numbers?

Factor-multiple Chains

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?

Tom's Number

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will only answer 'yes' or 'no'.

Magic Circles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?

Highest and Lowest

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.

Four Colours

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

In the Money

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

There are a number of coins on a table. One quarter of the coins show heads. If I turn over 2 coins, then one third show heads. How many coins are there altogether?

Paw Prints

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:

A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?

Magic Potting Sheds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?

Strike it Out for Two

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level:

Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?