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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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

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.

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

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

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. . . .

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

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

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

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

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

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}.

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

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?

Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.

Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.

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

Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?

This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

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

Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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?

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?