Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.

By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on the approximation?

Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?

Imagine a machine with four coloured lights which respond to different rules. Can you find the smallest possible number which will make all four colours light up?

A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?

There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .

In how many ways can a pound (value 100 pence) be changed into some combination of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence coins?

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

How many ways can you write the word EUROMATHS by starting at the top left hand corner and taking the next letter by stepping one step down or one step to the right in a 5x5 array?

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

A small circle in a square in a big circle in a trapezium. Using the measurements and clue given, find the area of the trapezium.

The machine I use to produce Braille messages is faulty and one of the pins that makes a raised dot is not working. I typed a short message in Braille. Can you work out what it really says?

You may like to read the article on Morse code before attempting this question. Morse's letter analysis was done over 150 years ago, so might there be a better allocation of symbols today?

This investigation is about happy numbers in the World of the Octopus where all numbers are written in base 8 ... Find all the fixed points and cycles for the happy number sequences in base 8.

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

In how many different ways can I colour the five edges of a pentagon red, blue and green so that no two adjacent edges are the same colour?

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

How many generations would link an evolutionist to a very distant ancestor?

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

All the words in the Snowman language consist of exactly seven letters formed from the letters {s, no, wm, an). How many words are there in the Snowman language?

Using the 8 dominoes make a square where each of the columns and rows adds up to 8

How many numbers less than 1000 are NOT divisible by either: a) 2 or 5; or b) 2, 5 or 7?

Five children went into the sweet shop after school. There were choco bars, chews, mini eggs and lollypops, all costing under 50p. Suggest a way in which Nathan could spend all his money.

When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .

Suppose you are a bellringer. Can you find the changes so that, starting and ending with a round, all the 24 possible permutations are rung once each and only once?

Did you know that ancient traditional mazes often tell a story? Remembering the story helps you to draw the maze.

Like all sports rankings, the cricket ratings involve some maths. In this case, they use a mathematical technique known as exponential weighting. For those who want to know more, read on.

If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G = F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A, B, C, D, E, F and H.

The graph represents a salesman’s area of activity with the shops that the salesman must visit each day. What route around the shops has the minimum total distance?

Investigate polygons with all the vertices on the lattice points of a grid. For each polygon, work out the area A, the number B of points on the boundary and the number of points (I) inside. . . .

A manager of a forestry company has to decide which trees to plant. What strategy for planting and felling would you recommend to the manager in order to maximise the profit?

In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .

Invent a scoring system for a 'guess the weight' competition.

A random ramble for teachers through some resources that might add a little life to a statistics class.

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league leaders.

Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?