During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then
back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the
information to find out how long each road is on the route she
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?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins
to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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!
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
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?
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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?
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
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.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
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 make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?
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
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!
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 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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
How could you arrange at least two dice in a stack so that the total of the visible spots is 18?
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 dice train has been made using specific rules. How many different trains can you make?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to
create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Can you find which shapes you need to put into the grid to make the
totals at the end of each row and the bottom of each column?
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?
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 make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
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?