Maths Puzzles


The following puzzles are from the Transum monthly newsletters and podcasts.

Exam Average

What mark is required in the last exam to achieve an 80% overall average?

Cake Cut

Where should the last slice of cake be cut to give two equal pieces?

Holy Sphere

Calculate the remaining volume of the sphere after a cylindrical hole has been drilled through the centre

Jumping Flea

How many different places could the flea find itself after 8 foot-long jumps either north, south, east or west?

Last Digit

How many positive two-digit numbers are there whose square and cube both end in the same digit?

Central Station

The probability that the next train to leave will be going north is five times the probability that the next train to leave will be going south.

Canteen Queue

Is it possible to answer the question if Betsy's age is not known?

Separated Twins

Work out the combination of the safe given the clues about pairs of numbers.

Divisible By Three

A puzzle about two digit numbers that can be made from ten different digits.

Letters In Numbers

A brand new puzzle involving the letters in numbers when written as words.

Square Angled Triangle

The angles of a triangle are all square numbers. What are they?

Tri-Junction Puzzle

What is the probability of the three cars arriving at the road junction not being involved in an accident?

Two Prime Squares

What is the smallest square number (greater than one) that cannot be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers?

The Missing Pound

Where did the missing pound go in this story about three people visiting a restaurant?

Ticks, Tocks, Tacks and Tucks

Find how ticks compare to tocks, tacks and tucks from the given information.

The Power of Christmas

A question about indices to get you thinking mathematically at this festive time of year.

Ant and Dec

What single question could Dec ask Ant to find out what he is thinking?

Bookworm

How far does the bookworm travel on its meal-time journey?

Three Mathematicians

How can the third mathematician be so certain that everyone wants a drink?

Unfinished Game

If the coin tossing game was cut short how would you share the winnings?

Alphanumbetical

Questions about the letters used to make the natural numbers.

Best Dice

Which of the unusual dice would you choose to give you the best chance of winning the prize?

The Birthday Problem

What is the probability of two or more pupils in a class having the same birthday?

Enigma Vowels

A coding question inspired by the film The Imitation Game.

Biased Coin

A mathematical question asked by Microsoft and Google interviewers.

Twelve Days of Christmas

Can you figure out exactly how many gifts the true love sends during the twelve days of the Christmas holiday?

Chased by a Bear

A puzzle about an explorer being chased by a bear along with a question about imperial and metric measures with Measurement Man

Halloween Bases

A puzzle about Why is halloween like Christmas along with news of the new Number Skills Inventory

Torch Tunnel

A puzzle about four people making their way through a tunnel with just one torch along with news of the new numerology page

Cube in Milk

A puzzle about a cube being lowered into a bucket of milk along with news of the new shunting puzzles


The following puzzles are the Transum Advanced Starters.

Algebraic Product

Finding the value of the expression is easier than you think!

Angle Thinking

Find the range of possible angles, x, for which tan x > cos x > sin x

Average Cycling Speed

Work out the average speed of two journeys. The obvious answer is not the correct answer.

Best Dice

Which of the unusual dice would you choose to give you the best chance of winning the prize?

Biased Coin

Use a biased coin to obtain a fair result

Cheryl's Birthday

Use a process of elimination to work out the correct date from the clues given.

Coordinate Distance

Find k given that(-2,k) is 13 units away from (10,9)

Cuboid

Find the dimensions of a cuboid matching the description given

Divisible by 11

Can you prove that a three digit number whose first and third digits add up to the value of the second digit must be divisible by eleven?

Fence Optimisation

Find the length of a rectangle enclosing the largest possible area.

Fermi Problem

The classic Fermi problem using standard estimation techniques

Find The Radius

Find the radius of the circle from the small amount of information provided.

Grandmother

How far would grandma have travelled after a suitably large number of days given her walking regime?

Hands Together

The hands of a clock are together at midnight. At what time are they next together?

Maximum Product

Two numbers add up to 10. What's the largest possible product they could have?

Multiple of sum of digits

What number is six times the sum of its digits?

Nine Digit Numbers

How many different nine digit numbers are their that contain each of the digits from one to nine?

Other Child's Gender

What is the probability that the other child is also a boy?

Paper Ratio

Calculate the ratio of the sides of an A4 sheet of paper without any measuring.

Parallel Graphs

Determine from their equations which of the straight line graphs are parallel and perpendicular.

Penny Bags

Can you place 63 pennies in bags in such a way that you can give away any amount of money (from 1p to 63p) by giving a selection of these prepacked bags?

Piece of String

Find where a piece of string should be cut to form a circle and a square of equal areas.

Reverse Connection

Find a general rule for the difference between a two digit number and that same number with the digits reversed.

Road Connections

Design roads to connect four houses that are on the corners of a square, side of length one mile, to minimise the total length of the roads.

Same Series Sum

Find an arithmetic series and a geometric series that have the same sum of the first five terms.

Same Three Digits

Find expressions which contain indices and evaluate to numbers containing the same digits.

Simplify

Simplify an algebraic fraction

Tri-Junction

A real life situation that can be analysed with the use of a tree diagram.

Two real numbers

The sum of the reciprocals of two real numbers is -1, and the sum of their cubes is 4. What are they?

Unfinished Game

Share the prize in a fair ratio according to the probability of each player willing.

Unlucky Seven Eleven

Follow the instructions to multiply a chosen number then explain the result you get.

Vowel Code

How many ways can you create a code for the vowels by assigning to each vowel a different vowel?

Zero Even

Prove that zero is an even number.

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

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