Like a real superhero, this skill has many names and identities. Some call it guessing and checking; many call it trial and error; others call it trial and improvement. Sometimes, I even give it a special name - the Goldilocks method: too large, too small, just right!

Brie-Anna de Mouse, star of Maths with a Mouse

ACTIVITY TIME

Only one thing is better than solving puzzles - moving number cards around to find the solution. Let the guessing and checking begin!

(Helpfully, Nrich has a template with the number that can be printed)

If you have already printed off some number cards (or made your own), why not try Sealed Solution also from NRich. What's in the envelopes? Can you work it out? Guessing and checking is just one of the skills that will help you in this task.

Olympic Rings is a great puzzle from Transum (with three level to enjoy/suffer) and is best completed online. Use those careful guessing and checking skills and soon you might discover some clues to help solve the challenges.

Hopefully, you will have a few problem solving strategies to attempt Cycling Squares. Find it difficult and you might be going around in circles; find a solution and you will be going around in squares! (A clever little maths joke for you and if you don't find it funny, it's because you are a stinky p___t_!

Prime Factor Grids from Mathsbot are superb puzzles for developing your guessing and checking skills. You might also want to use working backwards as well as applying your knowledge of multiples, factors and divisibility rules - so many skills from which to choose!

With the ability to vary the number of rows, columns and even the range of prime factors, this puzzle can challenge every single mathematician and every single mousématician too!