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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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. . . .

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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?

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. . . .

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

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?

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?

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.

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. . . .

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

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.

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.

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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

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}.

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.

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

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

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

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

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.

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

Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...

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

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

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

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?

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

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. . . .

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

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.