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.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .
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.
Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.
This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
A Latin square of order n is an array of n symbols in which each symbol occurs exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
This Sudoku combines all four arithmetic operations.
In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?
I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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?"
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?
Four friends must cross a bridge. How can they all cross it in just 17 minutes?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
A man has 5 coins in his pocket. Given the clues, can you work out what the coins are?
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.
in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that the amount in each ring is the same?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.
It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15 with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.
The puzzle can be solved by finding the values of the unknown digits (all indicated by asterisks) in the squares of the $9\times9$ grid.
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.