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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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Digit Addition

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Try out this number trick. What happens with different starting numbers? What do you notice?

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Arranging the Tables

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.

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A-magical Number Maze

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!

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Adding Plus

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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Mrs Beeswax

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?

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On Target

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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Homes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different combinations of these can you find?

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Here to There 1 2 3

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?

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Oddly

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is odd.

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Zargon Glasses

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?

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Polo Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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Dart Target

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.

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Rabbits in the Pen

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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Journeys in Numberland

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

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Sums and Differences 1

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

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Sums and Differences 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?

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Build it up More

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

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Prison Cells

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?

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Hubble, Bubble

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?

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Two Egg Timers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

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How Old?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?

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X Is 5 Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?

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Reverse Trick

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Tell your friends that you have a strange calculator that turns numbers backwards. What secret number do you have to enter to make 141 414 turn around?

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Dice and Spinner Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If you had any number of ordinary dice, what are the possible ways of making their totals 6? What would the product of the dice be each time?

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Super Value Shapes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If each of these three shapes has a value, can you find the totals of the combinations? Perhaps you can use the shapes to make the given totals?

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It's All about 64

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.

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Making Trains

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?

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Sisters and Brothers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Cassandra, David and Lachlan are brothers and sisters. They range in age between 1 year and 14 years. Can you figure out their exact ages from the clues?

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Magic Triangle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place the digits 1 to 9 into the circles so that each side of the triangle adds to the same total.

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Maze 100

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you go through this maze so that the numbers you pass add to exactly 100?

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Doplication

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?

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Being Resourceful - Primary Number

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

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Folded Number Line

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.

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Today's Date - 01/06/2009

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates yourself.

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Open Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?

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A Numbered Route

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as possible?

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The Clockmaker's Birthday Cake

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock face. Can you work out who received each piece?

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Six Is the Sum

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?

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Seven Square Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.

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Spell by Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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Up and Down

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Sam got into an elevator. He went down five floors, up six floors, down seven floors, then got out on the second floor. On what floor did he get on?

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1, 2, 3 Magic Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange three 1s, three 2s and three 3s in this square so that every row, column and diagonal adds to the same total.

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Sheep Talk

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In sheep talk the only letters used are B and A. A sequence of words is formed by following certain rules. What do you notice when you count the letters in each word?

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All Seated

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?

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Numbered Cars

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

I was looking at the number plate of a car parked outside. Using my special code S208VBJ adds to 65. Can you crack my code and use it to find out what both of these number plates add up to?

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How Much Did it Cost?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.

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Prompt Cards

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.