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.
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 pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
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.
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?
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
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?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
A Sudoku that uses transformations as supporting clues.
A Sudoku with a twist.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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?
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 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.
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. . . .
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
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
Rather than using the numbers 1-9, this sudoku uses the nine
different letters used to make the words "Advent Calendar".
This pair of linked Sudokus matches letters with numbers and hides a seasonal greeting. Can you find it?
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the
surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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.
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
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?
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.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.