An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
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!
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
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it.
How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in
each pile was 15?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways
of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
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.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three
biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with
two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?