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?
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?
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
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.
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?
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a product consisting entirely of ones.
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
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 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?"
Each clue in this Sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
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 Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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?
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?
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?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
The items in the shopping basket add and multiply to give the same amount. What could their prices be?
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
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.
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?
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...
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
A few extra challenges set by some young NRICH members.
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.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
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.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
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?
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one
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.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
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?