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. . . .

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

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

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?

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?

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

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. . . .

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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}.

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?

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

A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?

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. . . .

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.

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .

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

Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?

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

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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?

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

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. . . .

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?

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

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?

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?

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

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?

Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.

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. . . .

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

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?

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?

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. . . .

The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.