A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by saying, "Well, how old are they?"
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
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?
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?
A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
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?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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!
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the real time) they arrived at the airport.
Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
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 jugs.
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?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
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.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
Using all ten cards from 0 to 9, rearrange them to make five prime numbers. Can you find any other ways of doing it?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.