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?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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

Special clue numbers related to the difference between numbers in two adjacent cells and values of the stars in the "constellation" make this a doubly interesting problem.

Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.

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.

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

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?

Mr Smith and Mr Jones are two maths teachers. By asking questions, the answers to which may be right or wrong, Mr Jones is able to find the number of the house Mr Smith lives in... Or not!

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.

Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.

Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.

An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.

This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.

You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find the digits and then solve the Sudoku.

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

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

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.

15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

A pair of Sudokus with lots in common. In fact they are the same problem but rearranged. Can you find how they relate to solve them both?

Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku 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?

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

The challenge is to find the values of the variables if you are to solve this Sudoku.

How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four surrounding cells.

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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.

Two sudokus in one. Challenge yourself to make the necessary connections.

It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15 with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?