Transum Maths Software

Puzzles

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Puzzles. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Puzzles Starters:

9:50 Puzzle: A little lateral thinking might help you solve this puzzle.

All for 100: Can you write an expression for 100 which uses all the digits 1 to 9?

Alphanumbetical: A challenge to find the number which when written as a word has all the letters in alphabetical order.

Arithmagons: This lesson starter requires pupils to find the missing numbers in this partly completed arithmagon puzzle.

Boxing Day: Work out the contents and the cost of the Christmas boxes from the given clues

Bridge Crossing: The classic puzzle of finding a route which crosses each bridge once.

Broken Calculator (3 and 4): Some keys are missing from this calculator. Just how useful is it?

Christmas Ornaments: A Maths Starter activity requiring students to arrange Christmas ornaments in a square box.

ClockEquate: Can you use the digits on the left of this clock along with any mathematical operations to equal the digits on the right?

Coins On The Table: A puzzle about the number of coins on a table given information about fractions of them.

Cube Calendar: What numbers should be on each face of the two cubes to make this perpetual calendar?

Don't Touch!: A number placing puzzle.

Eleven Plus Two: Rearrange the letters in the expression 'Eleven Plus Two' to make another expression with the same value.

Freemason's Cipher: Find symmetric words in this ancient cipher.

House Numbers: The numbers on five houses next to each other add up to 70. What are those five numbers?

How Do You Do?: A little lateral thinking will help you solve this number puzzle.

How Many Squares? 1: Work out how many squares are there altogether in the given pattern.

How Many Squares? 2: How many squares can be found by joining four dots on the grid?

Intents Excitement: Work out the mathematical words missing from the story about buying a tent.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Letter Clue Calculations: Work out what the calculations might be from the letter clues.

Loopy Lake: Match the fractions to their decimal equivalents and join them with lines that do not cross.

Lucky Numbers: Arrange the numbers so that the totals of the three numbers along any line are the same.

Match Fish: A classic matchstick puzzle designed to challenge your spacial awareness.

Maths Crossword: A small crossword puzzle containing mathematical words.

Maths In School: Find mathematical words which can be made by using the letters in the name of your school?

Mathster Mind: Guess the four digit number with help from the clues.

Mirror Maths: The bottom half of some symmetrical calculations are shown above. Can you work out the answers?

Missing Pound: A puzzle about a restaurant bill. Exactly where did the missing pound go?

Missing Square Puzzle: The missing square puzzle is an optical illusion used to help students reason about geometrical figures.

Missing Terms: Find the missing terms from these linear sequences.

Mix and Match: Work out which team played which from the information given.

Mystery Numbers: Can you recognise the mystery numbers from the clues?

Mystic Maths: Work out why subtracting a two digit number from its reverse gives a multiple of nine.

News Common: Follow the compass directions given in the squares to find where the route starts?

Nine Digit Sum: Arrange the digits one to nine to make a correct addition calculation.

Not Too Close: This activity, sometimes known as 'Keep Your Distance' requires eight students to sit non consecutively on a grid of chairs.

Noughts and Crosses: In how many different ways can the first X and O by placed on the grid?

One Digit 100: How many ways can you write an expression for 100 which only uses the same digit repeated and any operations?

One Torch Tunnel: Work out the least amount of time for four people to walk through a tunnel?

Paradox: Can you solve this paradox by agreeing whether the statements are right or wrong?

Pentadd: Five numbers are added together in pairs and the sums shown. What might the five numbers be?

Plus: A number puzzle suitable for children with a wide range of abilities.

Roundabout: Go around the roundabout performing each of the operations. Which starting point gives the largest answer?

Route to Las Vegas: Work out the cheapest way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas by choosing the best route and adding up the given numbers.

Rows of Roses: Can you draw 4 straight lines, without taking your pencil off the paper, which pass through all 9 roses?

Secret Symbol: Place a symbol between the four and the five to get a number greater than four and less than five.

Separated Twins: Can you find a 14 digit number containing two each of the digits one to seven which obeys the rules given?

Sign Sequences: Continue the sequences if you can work out the rule.

Small Satisfaction: Arrange the digits one to nine in the grid so that they obey the row and column headings.

Square Pairs: Arrange the numbered trees so that adjacent sums are square numbers.

Squared Animals: Separate three rows of three animals using three squares.

Sudoku Sum: What is the sum of the numbers missing from the given Sudoku puzzle?

Suko: Interactive number-based logic puzzle similar to those featuring in The Times and Telegraph newspapers.

Sum of the Signs: Each traffic sign stands for a number. Some of the sums of rows and columns are shown. What numbers might the signs stand for?

Sum Square: Arrange the numbers one to eight into the calculations to make the totals correct..

THOAN: THOAN stands for 'Think of a number' and there are four randomly generated THOAN puzzles to solve.

Tools: Place the numbers on the triangle so that the totals along each of the sides are equal.

Two Twins and Tim: A tricky problem set on a coordinate grid.

Upside Number: Work out the phone number from the clues given.

What are they?: A starter about sums, products, differences, ratios, square and prime numbers.

Word Search: Create your own mathematical word search very easily.

Word Sum: Each letter stands for a different digit. Can you make sense of word sum?

Advanced Puzzles Starters

 

Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Jugs

Jugs

The classic problem of using two unmarked jugs to measure exactly a given quantity. The Transum version is interactive and awards a virtual trophy for each of the levels completed.

 

Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School:

"This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc - in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is - my pupils love it!
Thanks"

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

Comment recorded on the 8 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Smith, West Sussex, UK:

"I am an NQT and have only just discovered this website. I nearly wet my pants with joy.
To the creator of this website and all of those teachers who have contributed to it, I would like to say a big THANK YOU!!! :)."

Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon:

"Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated."

Comment recorded on the i asp?ID_Top 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai:

"It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages."

Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk:

"Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!"

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 19 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Lesley Sewell, Ysgol Aberconwy, Wales:

"A Maths colleague introduced me to your web site and I love to use it. The questions are so varied I can use them with all of my classes, I even let year 13 have a go at some of them. I like being able to access the whole month so I can use favourites with classes I see at different times of the week. Thanks."

Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry:

"Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils.
Thanks again"

Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull:

"Dear Transum,

I love you website I use it every maths lesson I have with every year group! I don't know were I would turn to with out you!"

Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 1 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Phil Anthony, Head of Maths, Stourport High School:

"What a brilliant website. We have just started to use the 'starter-of-the-day' in our yr9 lessons to try them out before we change from a high school to a secondary school in September. This is one of the best resources on-line we have found. The kids and staff love it. Well done an thank you very much for making my maths lessons more interesting and fun."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."

Comment recorded on the 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 9 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Jones, Wales:

"I think that having a starter of the day helps improve maths in general. My pupils say they love them!!!"

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Johnstone, 7Je:

"I think this is a brilliant website as all the students enjoy doing the puzzles and it is a brilliant way to start a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 2 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Angela Lowry, :

"I think these are great! So useful and handy, the children love them.
Could we have some on angles too please?"

Comment recorded on the i asp?ID_Top 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College:

"Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities.
Thanks for such a great resource!"

Comment recorded on the 11 January 'Starter of the Day' page by S Johnson, The King John School:

"We recently had an afternoon on accelerated learning.This linked really well and prompted a discussion about learning styles and short term memory."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Transum, :

"Sorry Mike, because some of the starters link to live data on the Internet there is no CD version. Thanks for your comments."

Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield:

"I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information."

Comment recorded on the 7 December 'Starter of the Day' page by Cathryn Aldridge, Pells Primary:

"I use Starter of the Day as a registration and warm-up activity for my Year 6 class. The range of questioning provided is excellent as are some of the images.
I rate this site as a 5!"

Comment recorded on the 16 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs A Milton, Ysgol Ardudwy:

"I have used your starters for 3 years now and would not have a lesson without one! Fantastic way to engage the pupils at the start of a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by M Chant, Chase Lane School Harwich:

"My year five children look forward to their daily challenge and enjoy the problems as much as I do. A great resource - thanks a million."

Comment recorded on the 10 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy:

"3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!"

Comment recorded on the 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London:

"I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable."

Comment recorded on the 21 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Trainor And His P7 Class(All Girls), Mercy Primary School, Belfast:

"My Primary 7 class in Mercy Primary school, Belfast, look forward to your mental maths starters every morning. The variety of material is interesting and exciting and always engages the teacher and pupils. Keep them coming please."

Notes:

Engaging and addictive, puzzles have been an irresistible lure for inquisitive minds throughout history. This topic introduces pupils to some interesting puzzles with a mathematical connection.

Some puzzles are based on the old classics but are presented in an interactive way or updated to relate to young people of today. The puzzles are recommended to start a lesson, to be used with pupils who finish classwork early or, even better, to be integrated into the main activity of the lesson as strategies for finding solutions are sound mathematical techniques.

Sometimes called recreational mathematics, puzzles and games appeal to children (and adults) inspiring their further study of the subject. They captivate interest, inspire fascination and produce a great sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Puzzles Teacher Resources:

Hot Number Challenges: The ten Hot Number challenges ready to project onto your whiteboard.

Online Psychic: Let the psychic read the cards and reveal which number you have chosen.

Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers.

Stick Squares: Arrange the matches to form four squares instead of five.

Tangram Challenge: A series of tangram challenges in increasing order of difficulty.

Word Sums Guide: A step by step guide showing how to solve a Word Sum where each letter stands for a different digit.

Puzzles Activities:

Addle: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 14 in the spaces to make the sums correct.

Area Maze: Use your knowledge of rectangle areas to calculate the missing measurement of these composite diagrams.

Arithmagons: Find the missing numbers in these partly completed arithmagon puzzles.

Brainbox: A puzzle requiring the arrangement of numbers on the function machines to link the given input numbers to the correct output.

Calculator Words: Turn your calculator upside down to make words out of the answers to these questions.

Car Park Puzzle: Can you get your car out of the very crowded car park by moving other cars forwards or backwards?

Centexpression: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 9 to make an expression with a value of 100.

Clue Sudoku: A different way to complete a Sudoku puzzle with clues available at every stage.

Code Cracker: Crack the code by finding out which letters replace the encrypted letters in the text given. There are lots of hints provided about code breaking techniques.

Cryptographic: Fill in the squares according to the clues given by the string of numbers for each row and column.

Delightfully Divisible: Arrange the digits one to nine to make a number which is divisible in the way described.

Digivide: Arrange the numbers from 1 to 6 in the spaces to make the division calculation correct.

Dominoes Puzzle: Arrange the dominoes in seven squares. The number of dots along each side of the square must be equal to the number in the middle

Fleur-De-Lis: Click on six fleur-de-lis to leave an even number in each row and column.

Frustration: A logical challenge requiring a strategy to update each of the numbers in a grid.

How Many Squares? 2: How many different sets of four dots can be joined to form a square?

Jugs: Can you make 4 litres if you only have 7 and 5 litre jugs?

Largest Product: A drag and drop activity challenging you to arrange the digits to produce the largest possible product.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Ludicross: Arrange the given numbers on the cross so that the sum of the numbers in both diagonals is the same.

Magic Square: Each row, column and diagonal should produce the same sum.

Magic Square Puzzle: Find all of the possible ways of making the magic total from the numbers in this four by four magic square.

Maths Crossword: An interactive mathematical crossword for you to do online. Find the missing words from the given clues.

Mine Find: Find where the mines are hidden without stepping on one.

Mixpressions: Arrange the cards to create a valid mathematical statement.

Nine Nine Nine: Use the digits 1 to 9 to make three 3 digit numbers which add up to 999.

No Partner: Find which numbers in a given list do not combine with other numbers on the list to make a given sum.

Not Too Close: The students numbered 1 to 8 should sit on the chairs so that no two consecutively numbered students sit next to each other.

Number Jigsaws: Online, interactive jigsaw puzzles of grids of numbers.

Numskull: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

One Digit Only: Find expressions using only one digit which equal the given targets.

One Torch Tunnel: Solve the problem of getting four people through a tunnel with one torch in the minimum amount of time.

Online Psychic: Let the psychic read the cards and reveal which number you have chosen.

Pattern Clues: An interactive activity challenging you to reproduce a pattern of coloured squares according to given clues.

Pentadd Quiz: Find the five numbers which when added or multiplied together in pairs to produce the given sums or products.

Pentominoes: Arrange the twelve pentominoes in the outline of a rectangle.

Plane Numbers: Arrange numbers on the plane shaped grid to produce the given totals

Plus: A number arranging puzzle with seven levels of challenge.

Polygon Pieces: Arrange the nine pieces of the puzzle on the grid to make the given polygon.

Prime Labyrinth: Find the path to the centre of the labyrinth by moving along the prime numbers.

Prime Square: Drag the numbers into the red cells so that the sum of the three numbers in each row and each column is a prime number.

Pu Wiang: A counter moving challenge invented in northern Thailand.

Puzzle Cube Net: A jumbled moving-block puzzle cube is shown as a net. Can you solve it?

Pyramid Puzzle: Numbers in the bricks are found by adding the two bricks immediately below together. Can you achieve the given target?

Quad Areas: Calculate the areas of all the possible quadrilaterals that can be constructed by joining together dots on this grid.

River Crossing: The traditional River Crossing challenge. Can you do it in the smallest number of moves?

Roman Numerals Jigsaw: An online interactive jigsaw puzzle of a grid of Roman numerals.

Satisfaction: This is quite a challenging number grouping puzzle requiring a knowledge of prime, square and triangular numbers.

Satisfy: Place the nine numbers in the table so they obey the row and column headings.

Scallywags and Scoundrels: Arrange the scallywags and scoundrels on the chairs so that the numbers of any two sitting next to each other add up to a prime number.

Scheduling Puzzle: Make a schedule for the 24-hour Darts Marathon which will keep everyone happy!

Separated Twins: Can you find a 6 digit number containing two each of the digits one to three which obeys the rules given?

Shapes In The Stars: Join up the stars to find the hidden regular polygons.

Shunting Puzzles: Move the trams to their indicated parking places in the shunting yard as quickly as possible.

Spinsum: Arrange the numbers on the squares so that the totals along each line of three squares are equal.

Squorder: The Transum version of the traditional sliding tile puzzle.

Suko Sujiko: Interactive number-based logic puzzles similar to those featuring in daily newspapers.

T Puzzle: Use the pieces of the T puzzle to fit into the outlines provided.

Tangram Table: Use the pieces of the tangram puzzle to make the basic shapes then complete the table showing which shapes are possible.

Tantrum: A game, a puzzle and a challenge involving counters being placed at the corners of a square on a grid.

The Broken Chessboard Puzzle: The chessboard has been broken into 13 pieces. Can you put it back together?

The Miller's Puzzle: This is an interactive variation of the puzzle described by Henry Ernest Dudeney in The Canterbury Puzzles

Thrice: Can you arrange all of the counters on the grid to form 10 lines of three counters?

Tools: In how many different ways can the numbers be arranged to give the same totals?

Tower of Hanoi: Move the pieces of the tower from one place to another in the minimum number of moves.

Truculent: Can you arrange the seven counters on the grid despite their truculent behaviour?

Unmagic Square: Like the magic square but all of the totals should be different.

Vowelless: Vowels have been taken out of mathematical words. Can you recognise them?

Where's Wallaby?: Find the hidden wallaby using the clues revealed at the chosen coordinates.

Window View: Drag the 20 flowers into the gardens so that 9 flowers are visible from each window of the house.

Without Lifting The Pencil: Can you draw these diagrams without lifting your pencil from the paper? This is an interactive version of the traditional puzzle.

Word Search: Find the mathematical words in the grid of letters.

Xmas Ornaments: A hands on activity requiring students to arrange Christmas ornaments in a square box.

Zygo: Interactive, randomly-generated, number-based logic puzzle designed to develop numeracy skills.

Puzzles Investigations:

Frustration: A logical challenge requiring a strategy to update each of the numbers in a grid.

How Many Rectangles?: Investigate the number of rectangles on a grid of squares. What strategies will be useful in coming up with the answer?

Jugs: Can you make 4 litres if you only have 7 and 5 litre jugs?

Search for Infinity: Manipulate the Lissajou curve to produce a perfectly symmetrical (vertically and horizontally) infinity symbol.

Tantrum: A game, a puzzle and a challenge involving counters being placed at the corners of a square on a grid.

Tetrominoes: A tetrominoe is a shape made of four squares joined edge to edge. How many different tetrominoes are there?

The Four Rules: See if you can make all of the numbers from 0 to 10 using four threes

Tower of Hanoi: Move the pieces of the tower from one place to another in the minimum number of moves.

Window View: Drag the 20 flowers into the gardens so that 9 flowers are visible from each window of the house.

Puzzles Videos:

Logic Puzzle: Only 10% of people get the correct answer to this simple logic puzzle.

The Train Fly Problem: This video from Mind Your Decisions teaches a trick so you can solve the puzzle quickly.

Puzzles Worksheets:

Line Drawings: Six line drawings that may or may not be able to be traced without lifting the pencil or going over any line twice.

Recap Crossword: Two small crossword puzzles based on Secondary school Maths topics.

Tools Worksheet: A worksheet containing the grids to fill in for the Tools puzzles.

Two Twins Printable: This worksheet extends the puzzle in the July 21st Starter of the Day.

Xmas Ornaments Grids: Three different grids for the Christmas Ornaments puzzle.

Puzzles External Links:

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Circle Equations

Recognise and use the equation of a circle with centre at the origin and the equation of a tangent to a circle. So far this activity has been accessed 72 times and it is ready for you to enjoy!

 

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