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 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?
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.
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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.
Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
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?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
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?
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?
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 Sudoku with a twist.
Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
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.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.
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?
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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.
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
This sudoku requires you to have "double vision" - two Sudoku's for the price of one
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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 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?
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
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?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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 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?
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?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the 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 total.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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. . . .
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.