Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

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?

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

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

Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?

After some matches were played, most of the information in the table containing the results of the games was accidentally deleted. What was the score in each match played?

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

Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?

This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

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

Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.

A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .

The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .

In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.

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

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

What can you say about the angles on opposite vertices of any cyclic quadrilateral? Working on the building blocks will give you insights that may help you to explain what is special about them.

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

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?

Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?

This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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.

What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?

This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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 little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...

Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .