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. . . .

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.

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

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?

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. . . .

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .

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?

Choose any four consecutive even numbers. Multiply the two middle numbers together. Multiply the first and last numbers. Now subtract your second answer from the first. Try it with your own. . . .

Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?

32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.

The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

The Number Jumbler can always work out your chosen symbol. Can you work out how?

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?

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. . . .

How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?

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.

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total, and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?

Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?

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. . . .

Think of a number Multiply it by 3 Add 6 Take away your start number Divide by 2 Take away your number. (You have finished with 3!) HOW DOES THIS WORK?

A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square. What is the 2-digit number?

The well known Fibonacci sequence is 1 ,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21.... How many Fibonacci sequences can you find containing the number 196 as one of the terms?

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...

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Create some shapes by combining two or more rectangles. What can you say about the areas and perimeters of the shapes you can make?

A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is the volume of the box?

Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

However did we manage before calculators? Is there an efficient way to do a square root if you have to do the work yourself?

What are the possible dimensions of a rectangular hallway if the number of tiles around the perimeter is exactly half the total number of tiles?

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.

Think of a number and follow the machine's instructions... I know what your number is! Can you explain how I know?

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

115^2 = (110 x 120) + 25, that is 13225 895^2 = (890 x 900) + 25, that is 801025 Can you explain what is happening and generalise?

I added together the first 'n' positive integers and found that my answer was a 3 digit number in which all the digits were the same...

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?

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}.

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...