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?

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?

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.

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?!

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

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 sudoku.

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?

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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. . . .

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.

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?

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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

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.

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.

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 your logic?

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?

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

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

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?