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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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Dividing a Cake

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Annie cut this numbered cake into 3 pieces with 3 cuts so that the numbers on each piece added to the same total. Where were the cuts and what fraction of the whole cake was each piece?

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3388

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Using some or all of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and using the digits 3, 3, 8 and 8 each once and only once make an expression equal to 24.

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Rocco's Race

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's finishing position was.

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The Deca Tree

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a twig and a leaf.

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Oranges and Lemons

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how many lemons there are?

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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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Sometimes We Lose Things

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a look at the multiplications table.

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Rod Measures

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?

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Throw a 100

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?

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Zios and Zepts

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

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Calendar Calculations

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?

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Abundant Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?

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How Many Eggs?

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person had.

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Magic Matrix

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find out why these matrices are magic. Can you work out how they were made? Can you make your own Magic Matrix?

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Gift Stacks

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each pile.

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Special 24

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find another number that is one short of a square number and when you double it and add 1, the result is also a square number.

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Clever Keys

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?

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Buckets of Thinking

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres. Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.

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Number Juggle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).

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Magic Squares 4x4

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American Flag magic square.

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Machines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is happening at each box in these machines?

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Clock Face

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on both sides have the same total?

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Journeys

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.

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Escape from the Castle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?

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Fingers and Hands

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How would you count the number of fingers in these pictures?

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It Was 2010!

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?

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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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Bundles of Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?

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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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Got it for Two

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

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Countdown

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Here is a chance to play a version of the classic Countdown Game.

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Next Number

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...

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Scoring with Dice

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

I throw three dice and get 5, 3 and 2. Add the scores on the three dice. What do you get? Now multiply the scores. What do you notice?

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Penta Post

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?

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Napier's Bones

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?

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Number Tracks

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?

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Function Machines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?

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Being Resilient - Primary Number

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.

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Cows and Sheep

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.

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The Money Maze

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Go through the maze, collecting and losing your money as you go. Which route gives you the highest return? And the lowest?

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Book Codes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Look on the back of any modern book and you will find an ISBN code. Take this code and calculate this sum in the way shown. Can you see what the answers always have in common?

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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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The Number Crunching Machine

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Put a number at the top of the machine and collect a number at the bottom. What do you get? Which numbers get back to themselves?

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Magic Constants

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

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Chameleons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start with 12. . . .

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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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Sept03 Sept03 Sept03

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?

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Sam's Quick Sum

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is the sum of all the three digit whole numbers?

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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?