Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to solve this Sudoku.

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?

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?

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?

Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

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.

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.

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.

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.

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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

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?

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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.

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. . . .

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.

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.

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.

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.

This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.

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?

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one

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?

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?

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?

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

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.

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.

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.