This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's
there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and
between the two 3's there are three digits.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They
decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with
each of the others. What was the total number rides?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the
chance of winning?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths.
Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no
mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there
more than one way to do it?
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?