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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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Largest Number

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3 and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can only use each digit once.

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Like Powers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.

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Multiply the Addition Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Hot Pursuit

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?

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Digit Sum

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to one million?

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Neighbours

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

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Numbers Numbers Everywhere!

Stage: 1 and 2

Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house numbers.

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Book Codes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Alphabet Soup

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once it must represent the same digit each time.

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The Patent Solution

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?

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Chameleons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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As Easy as 1,2,3

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I type. . . .

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Abundant Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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Being Collaborative - Primary Number

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Number problems at primary level to work on with others.

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Escape from the Castle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Got it for Two

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Always, Sometimes or Never? Number

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

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Being Resilient - Primary Number

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.

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Number Tracks

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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Arrange the Digits

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit numbers such that their total is close to 1500?

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A Mixed-up Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?

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Scoring with Dice

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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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Have You Got It?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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Zios and Zepts

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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Pouring the Punch Drink

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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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Add the Weights

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only four weights, where could you place them in order to balance this equaliser?

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Jugs of Wine

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

You have four jugs of 9, 7, 4 and 2 litres capacity. The 9 litre jug is full of wine, the others are empty. Can you divide the wine into three equal quantities?

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Sometimes We Lose Things

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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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Magic Squares for Special Occasions

Stage: 3 and 4

This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.

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Month Mania

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?

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Wild Jack

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit the target score.

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I'm Eight

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find a great variety of ways of asking questions which make 8.

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Magic Triangle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Got It

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.

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Twenty Divided Into Six

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Make 100

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Find at least one way to put in some operation signs (+ - x ÷) to make these digits come to 100.

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Being Resourceful - Primary Number

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.

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Sending Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

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Open Squares

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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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Sealed Solution

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?

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Finding Fifteen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?

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The Deca Tree

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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Four Goodness Sake

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?

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A-magical Number Maze

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Six Is the Sum

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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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Back to School

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework. After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?

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Dividing a Cake

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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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Countdown

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Today's Date - 01/06/2009

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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