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?

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

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.

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.

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

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

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...

Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.

Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .

Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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?

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.

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

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

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?

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?

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. . . .

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

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

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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.

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

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}.

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

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

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.

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

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

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

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

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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.