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.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
This train line has two tracks which cross at different points. Can you find all the routes that end at Cheston?
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
A little mouse called Delia lives in a hole in the bottom of a tree.....How many days will it be before Delia has to take the same route again?
Can you use the information to find out which cards I have used?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?