An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
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?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
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.
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?
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.
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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?
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.
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you
three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and
keep repeating this. What happens?
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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
This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?