Maths Riddles


Animals at the Oasis: Calculate the number of animals gathered at the oasis according to the clues.


Audible Riddles: Listen to these audible mathematical riddles and use your ingenuity to figure out the answers.


Bus Driver: A riddle about a bus driver on quite a busy route.


Calendar Clue: Find the murderer from the clue written on the calendar


Calendar Riddle: Work out the date of my birthday from the clues in rhyme.


Company or Crowd?: If two's company and three's a crowd, what's four and five?


Cube Ages: Calculate the mean age of the two fathers and two sons with the given clues.


Doctor's Son: The doctor's son's age does not add up!


Does not add up!: Why would eight and five add up to one?


Fractions of Animals: What is three sevenths of a chicken, two thirds of a cat and 50% of a goat?


Fried Eggs: How many eggs remain after the events that took place in the kitchen?


Fruit Snacks: Work out the numbers of each type of fruit bought for snacks


Growing Fast: How can it be that Percy will be 16 next year when he was only 13 the day before yesterday?


Moses' Roses: How can ten roses be planted in five rows of four?


Rejuvenate: A girl was 16 years old in 2010 but just 8 years old in 2018


Rope Ladder: How many rungs of a rope ladder remain above the water line after the tide has risen two metres?


Rosie's Cube: How many of the small cubes does Rosie need to complete the big cube?


Sharing Apples: Share five apples between five children while leaving one in the basket.


Sibling Count: How many boys and how many girls are there in the family?


Smart Animals: Who is most likely to be able to work out the square root of 121?


Sums With Hundreds: When is eighteen hundred minus fifty the same as seventeen hundred plus ten?


The Blue Arrows: What is the smallest number of jets that could have been in the formation according to the sighting information?


Tricky Takeaway: Take away some of the letters in a word to get a surprising result.


Two Coins: What two coins add up to 70p (one of them is not a 50p coin)


Wandering Bear: A bear walks south, east then north and finds it is back where it started. What colour is the bear?


Maths Jokes: Many mathematical jokes can be thought of as riddles and there is a big collection of jokes here.

26 Riddles

Riddles as Starters:

Birthday Clues
Work out the date Will was born by answering some number questions.

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

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

Number Riddles
Can you work out the numbers from the given clues.

Polygon Riddle 1
Solve the riddle to find the name of the polygon then sum the interior angles.

Polygon Riddle 2
A "My first is in..." type riddle leading to a polygon interior angle calculation.

Polygon Riddle 3
A 'My first is in...' riddle that describes a geometrical shape. Can you construct it?

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

St Ives
The traditional "As I was going to St Ives" riddle.


Complete Index of Starters


Fun Maths

In addition to these riddles see also our huge collection of Fun Maths games, puzzles and challenges.


Fun Maths

Fun Maths

The end of the lesson or the lesson at the end of Term should be a little more fun than normal. Here's a collection of fun mathematical activities

The short web address is:

The large collection of End of Term activities might also be of interest to you.

End of Term Activities


Mathematical Riddles

Here is the Transum collection of mathematical riddles to make you think outside the box then enjoy the satisfaction finding the answer brings.

A riddle is a statement, possibly with a double or hidden meaning, presented as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas and conundrums, but all of the riddles collected here have a mathematical connection. Posing riddles is an old and respected way of describing mathematical situations, connections and problems.

There is definitely a place for mathematical riddles in the Maths classroom. They can be used as lesson starters or finishers. They could be presented to pupils to think about for homework or included in the school newsletter to promote mathematics.

You will find a number of different types of riddles here which are designed to capture the interest of pupils in a mathematical skill, concept or topic.

Projectable Resources:

How old was Diophantus?: An ancient riddle which can be answered by solving an equation containing fractions.

Mathematical Catchphrase: Say what you see! Work out the mathematical words from the picture clues.

Number Rhyme: A poem about the numbers one to nine. Just for fun can you make up a last line for each verse?

Hands-on Riddles

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

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

Mystery Numbers
If '7 D in a W' stands for 7 days in a week, what do you think these mystery numbers are?

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

Videos about Riddles:

Maths Jokes Explained: Some of your favourite maths jokes are dissected in forensic fashion.

The 50 Cent Riddle: A 50 cent coin has 12 equal sides. If you place two coins next to each other on a table, what is the angle formed between the two coins?

The Infinite Chocolate Bar: A visual riddle! Can you explain?

Maths Riddles External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Maths Riddles are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:


The activity you are looking for may have been classified in a different way from the way you were expecting. You can search the whole of Transum Maths by using the box below.






Bernie Westacott, Twitter

Thursday, June 6, 2019

John Nguyen,

Thursday, October 31, 2019

"I'm impressed by the work you've done on Amazing job providing fun educational resources and engaging content for your users! Your math riddles have me scratching my head, but they're really engaging."

Christmas Present Ideas

It is often very difficult choosing Christmas presents for family and friends but so here are some seasonal, mathematics-related gifts chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics.

Equate board game

Here's a great board game that will give any family with school-aged kids hours of worthwhile fun. Christmas is a time for board games but this one will still be useful at any time of year. Games can be adapted to suit many levels of Mathematical ability.

For Maths tutors working with just one or small groups of pupils this game has proved to be an excellent activity for a tutorial. Deciding on the best moves can spark pertinent discussions about mathematical concepts.

Equate looks a bit like Scrabble--for aspiring mathematicians, that is. Designed by a real mathematician, it works like this: You put down tiles on a board and make points by correctly completing simple equations. Your nine tiles include both numbers and mathematical symbols; you can add on to previous plays both vertically and horizontally. more... #ad

How Not To Be Wrong

The maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes Gödel's theorem using only one-syllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport.

What more could the inquisitive adult want for Christmas? This book makes a cosy, interesting read in front of the fire on those cold winter evenings. more... #ad

Graphic Display Calculator

This handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TI-Nspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TI-Nspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others.

For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a Christmas present but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an A-level candidate then works their way through university. more... #ad

Apple iPad Pro

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more... #ad

Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

Craig Barton's Tips for Teachers

Teaching is complex. But there are simple ideas we can enact to help our teaching be more effective. This book contains over 400 such ideas." more... #ad

"The ideas come from two sources. First, from the wonderful guests on his Tips for Teachers podcast - education heavyweights such as Dylan Wiliam, Daisy Christodoulou and Tom Sherrington, as well as talented teachers who are not household names but have so much wisdom to share. Then there's what he has learned from working with amazing teachers and students in hundreds of schools around the world.

Another Craig Barton Book

The Story Of Maths [DVD]

The films in this ambitious series offer clear, accessible explanations of important mathematical ideas but are also packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. Engaging, enlightening and entertaining, the series gives viewers new and often surprising insights into the central importance of mathematics, establishing this discipline to be one of humanity s greatest cultural achievements. This DVD contains all four programmes from the BBC series.

Marcus du Sautoy's wonderful programmes make a perfect Christmas gift more... #ad

Christmas Maths

This book provides a wealth of fun activities with a Christmas theme. Each photocopiable worksheet is matched to the Numeracy Strategy and compatible with the Scottish 5-14 Guidelines. This series is designed for busy teachers in the late Autumn term who are desperate for materials that are relevant and interesting and that can be completed with minimun supervision.

All the activities are suitable for use by class teachers, supply teachers, SEN teachers and classroom assistants and cover topics such as 'How many partridges did the true love give all together?' and 'Filling a sleigh with presents by rolling a dice!'. Children will have lots of fun working through the Christmas Maths themes but also gain valuable skills along the way.

A great source of ideas and another reasonably priced stocking filler. more... #ad

A Compendium Of 	Mathematical Methods

A Compendium Of Mathematical Methods

How many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence?

A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered.

If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more... #ad

Math with Bad Drawings

I had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation.

This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great.

Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various forms-cartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone. more... #ad

Click the images above to see all the details of these gift ideas and to buy them online.

Maths T-Shirts

Maths T-shirts on Amazon
Maths T-Shirts on Amazon

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