How many generations would link an evolutionist to a very distant ancestor?

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.

Is it really greener to go on the bus, or to buy local?

In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .

Invent a scoring system for a 'guess the weight' competition.

The machine I use to produce Braille messages is faulty and one of the pins that makes a raised dot is not working. I typed a short message in Braille. Can you work out what it really says?

Five children went into the sweet shop after school. There were choco bars, chews, mini eggs and lollypops, all costing under 50p. Suggest a way in which Nathan could spend all his money.

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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

Suppose you are a bellringer. Can you find the changes so that, starting and ending with a round, all the 24 possible permutations are rung once each and only once?

The graph represents a salesman’s area of activity with the shops that the salesman must visit each day. What route around the shops has the minimum total distance?

Did you know that ancient traditional mazes often tell a story? Remembering the story helps you to draw the maze.

In how many different ways can I colour the five edges of a pentagon red, blue and green so that no two adjacent edges are the same colour?

In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league leaders.

How many ways can you write the word EUROMATHS by starting at the top left hand corner and taking the next letter by stepping one step down or one step to the right in a 5x5 array?

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?

Using the 8 dominoes make a square where each of the columns and rows adds up to 8

This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?

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

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.

All the words in the Snowman language consist of exactly seven letters formed from the letters {s, no, wm, an). How many words are there in the Snowman language?

You may like to read the article on Morse code before attempting this question. Morse's letter analysis was done over 150 years ago, so might there be a better allocation of symbols today?

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

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

Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?

A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?

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

A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.

If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G = F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A, B, C, D, E, F and H.

This investigation is about happy numbers in the World of the Octopus where all numbers are written in base 8 ... Find all the fixed points and cycles for the happy number sequences in base 8.

Like all sports rankings, the cricket ratings involve some maths. In this case, they use a mathematical technique known as exponential weighting. For those who want to know more, read on.

Imagine a machine with four coloured lights which respond to different rules. Can you find the smallest possible number which will make all four colours light up?

How many numbers less than 1000 are NOT divisible by either: a) 2 or 5; or b) 2, 5 or 7?

When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .

There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .

By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on the approximation?

A random ramble for teachers through some resources that might add a little life to a statistics class.