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?

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?

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?

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?!

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.

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?

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.

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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

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.

A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.

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?

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

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.

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...

Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

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

In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

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.

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?