Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
This problem is designed to help children to learn, and to use, the two and three times tables.
All the girls would like a puzzle each for Christmas and all the
boys would like a book each. Solve the riddle to find out how many
puzzles and books Santa left.
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
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.
Using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 once and only once, and the
operations x and ÷ once and only once, what is the smallest
whole number you can make?
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
What is the lowest number which always leaves a remainder of 1 when
divided by each of the numbers from 2 to 10?
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
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.
This big box multiplies anything that goes inside it by the same number. If you know the numbers that come out, what multiplication might be going on in the box?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
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?
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
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
The triangles in these sets are similar - can you work out the
lengths of the sides which have question marks?
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.
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
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?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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.
Here is a picnic that Petros and Michael are going to share equally. Can you tell us what each of them will have?
What is happening at each box in these machines?
There are four equal weights on one side of the scale and an apple
on the other side. What can you say that is true about the apple
and the weights from the picture?
Can you see how these factor-multiple chains work? Find the chain which contains the smallest possible numbers. How about the largest possible numbers?
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
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.
Use this information to work out whether the front or back wheel of
this bicycle gets more wear and tear.
Work out Tom's number from the answers he gives his friend. He will
only answer 'yes' or 'no'.
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
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?
This article for teachers looks at how teachers can use problems from the NRICH site to help them teach division.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
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.
Grandma found her pie balanced on the scale with two weights and a
quarter of a pie. So how heavy was each pie?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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?
Each clue number in this sudoku is the product of the two numbers in adjacent cells.
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
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?
In November, Liz was interviewed for an article on a parents' website about learning times tables. Read the article here.