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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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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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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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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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Two Primes Make One Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make square numbers by adding two prime numbers together?

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Magic Vs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?

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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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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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Being Resilient - Primary Number

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Number problems at primary level that may require resilience.

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A Mixed-up Clock

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Diagonal in a Spiral

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the totals you get when adding numbers on the diagonal of this pattern in threes.

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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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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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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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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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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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Totality

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This is an adding game for two players.

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Page Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Short Challenge Level:

Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?

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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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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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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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Magic Circles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the rule for giving another set of six numbers?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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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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Machines

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What is happening at each box in these machines?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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?