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.

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?

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

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

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

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.

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

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?

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 investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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.

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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?

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

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

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?

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?

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?

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?

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

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.

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.

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

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 that uses transformations as supporting clues.

Each of the main diagonals of this sudoku must contain the numbers 1 to 9 and each rectangle width the numbers 1 to 4.

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?

Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.

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

This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH website that could be suitable for students who have a good understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take on some. . . .

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. . . .

Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?

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

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.

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

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.

Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.

This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?

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.

60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?

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

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?