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?
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?
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 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.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
A Sudoku with a twist.
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to
solve this Sudoku.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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 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?
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.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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?
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.
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
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
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?
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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?
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.
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.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
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?
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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 small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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...
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one