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.

Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?

Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

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

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. . . .

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

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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

Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?

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. . . .

I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?

The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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.

This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples 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!

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

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

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

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

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

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.