30 Math Puzzles (with Answers) to Test Your Smarts

Who says math can't be fun?! These math puzzles with answers are a delightful challenge.

Math is not everyone’s favorite, understandably. Hours of math homework and difficult equations can make anyone sour on the subject. But when math problems are outside of a school setting, there’s no time limit to do them, and they’ve got a fun, more whimsical concept than just finding x, they can be great activities for kids. (And adults, of course!) They test your brain and critical thinking skills, provide some constructive, educational fun, and provide tangible examples of math lessons you’ll actually use in real life.

Math puzzles come in plenty of different varieties, too. Some more straightforward number puzzles do require calculations to find the solution. Others are more like logic puzzles and challenge you to look for a pattern. Still others present the puzzle through pictures, making them great for visual learners. From Reader’s Digest‘s “Mind Stretchers” books, these math puzzles have a bit of everything! If you’re more of a riddles person, we’ve got regular ol’ math riddles and popular riddles. And, if you prefer your riddles free of math, we have great riddles for kids too.

Math puzzles for kids

Symbol sums

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Can you make this equation correct using three of these four symbols? + – x  ÷

Order of operations doesn’t apply, and no fractions or negative numbers are involved.



Number cube

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Which number should replace the question mark?

Answer: 9

Go figure

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Which figure (1-6) is not colored correctly?

Answer: 6—it should be yellow.

RELATED: Hard Math Problems That’ll Test Your Smarts

Safe code 1

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To open this safe, you have to replace the question marks with the correct figures. You can find this figure by determining the pattern behind the numbers shown.

Answer: 1 and 4. They’re arranged in groups of two-digit numbers, all ending in 7 and ascending in both rows.

Safe code 2

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To open this safe, you have to replace the question marks with the correct figures. You can find this figure by determining the pattern behind the numbers shown.

Answer: 1 and 2. Every number in the bottom row is the number above it minus 3.


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How many points does Archer B score knowing that the total score of Archer A is 55 and that different points are earned in the ten zones in ascending value toward the center?

Answer: 30 points. The outer zone is worth 1 point, then 2, 3, etc. The center is worth 10 points. 5 + 8 + 8 + 9 = 30.


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Which pins must be knocked over to score exactly 100 points? (Hint: There are three!)

Answer: 13, 39, and 48.

RELATED: 25 Brain Teasers for Kids That Will Beat Boredom

Number puzzles


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Each firework (A-F) contains 6 stars. Which firework has not been launched, knowing that each gives off 1, 2, or 3 stars of its corresponding color?

Answer: Firework C. There is a total of 9 yellow stars in the fireworks, but there are only 6 in the air. Do the firework math (9 – 6 = 3) and you’ll find that 3 yellow stars have not been launched yet.


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Which number should replace the question mark to form accurate equations, knowing that three numbers are shown per row (i.e. two of the numbers form a two-digit number)?

Answer: 6. Read every row as follows:
(3 + 2) x 2 = 10
(1 + 9) x 2 = 20
(0 + 8) x 2 = 16
(7 + 5) x 2 = 24

Big game

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Which numbers should replace the question marks?

Answer: 563412. All the other ticket numbers are combinations of the numbers 12, 34, and 56, and 563412 is the last possible combination of these numbers.

Against the clock

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The winner has run the distance in 15 seconds, the second in 21 seconds, etc. How many seconds will it take the sixth athlete to cross the line?

Answer: 39 seconds. This is the formula: 15 + (1 + 5) = 21; 21 + (2 + 1) = 24; 24 + (2 + 4) = 30; 30 + (3 + 0) = 33; 33 + (3 + 3) = 39.

Credit rating

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Which number is missing on the bottom credit card?

Answer: 8. The number formed by the two first digits is always doubled. 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 on the top card and 23, 46, 92, 184, 368 on the bottom card.

RELATED: 42 Tricky “What Am I?” Riddles

Missing script

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Which number should replace the question mark, knowing that two-digit numbers are always shown?

Answer: 6. Read from left to right as a series of numbers that are always divided by four (or by two if you alternate between the top and bottom rows). 96 ÷ 4 = 24; 24 ÷ 4 = 6 (or 06); 48 ÷ 4 = 12.


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Which number should replace the question mark?

Answer: 3. The numbers under the line are the average of the three numbers in the column above.

Math logic puzzles

Safe code

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To open this safe, you have to replace the question mark with the correct figure. You can find this figure by determining the logical method behind the numbers shown. These methods can include calculation, inversion, repetition, chronological succession, or forming ascending and descending series.

Answer: 6. They’re arranged in groups of two-digit numbers; you add eight to the top two-digit number (75, 34, 68) to get the bottom number (83, 42, 76).

Keeping score

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Which digit should replace the question mark in the score?

Answer: 6. The difference in the scores forms the following series: –2, +4, –6, +8. Alternating per column you also see the following two series: 7, 14, 21, 28; 9, 18, 27, 36.

RELATED: 50 Long Riddles That Only the Smartest Can Solve

Sun power

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How much energy will the newest solar panel generate?

Answer: 04.96 V. The number before the decimal point is the same as the number of columns per panel, and the number after the decimal point is the same as the number of cells.


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Fill in the 5 x 5 grid with the numbers from 1 to 5 once per row and column, while following the greater than/less than symbols shown. There is only one valid solution that can be reached through logic and clear thinking alone!


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RELATED: Printable Sudoku Puzzles That Will Test Your Smarts

Shooting hoops

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A point is scored when the ball lands on an orange square. Give the coordinates of the last square that should be orange.

Answer: 6F. Points are scored on intersections where the number corresponds with the letter’s place in the alphabet.


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Which cream percentage should replace the question mark?

Answer: 54. The percentages consist of all numbers from 0 to 9, with the larger number first.

Wind chill

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Knowing that there is a logical connection between the temperature and wind direction, which night temperature should replace the question mark? (Hint: “Time” for some hard math puzzles.)

Answer: 11. Replace the compass rose with a clock on military time. The red tip of the compass needle points to the hour in the afternoon from 13 to 24 midnight and corresponds with the day temperature. The gray tip points to the hour in the morning from 1 to 12 noon and is the night temperature.

RELATED: 48 Short Riddles That Are Surprisingly Hard

Picture math puzzles

Do the math

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Enter numbers in each row and column to arrive at the end totals. Only numbers 1 through 9 are used, and each only once.


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Tricky triangles

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How many triangles can you see?

Answer: 23

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If you got that right, see if you can correctly identify the number of triangles in this puzzle.

Spot it

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How many spots should replace the question mark on the domino?

Answer: 6 spots. The dominoes are on an imaginary grid and the number of spots corresponds to the domino’s spot on the grid. The grid contains alternating rows with numbers 4 5 4 5 4 5 4 5 and the numbers 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6.

In balance

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Which weight (A-D) should replace the question mark so that the scale is in balance?

Answer: B. A = B + C + D, C = B + D, A = 3D. So 3D = 2B + 2D, 3D – 2D = 2B, so D = 2B.

RELATED: 8 Genius Brain Boosters You Can Do With Your Kids

Berry puzzling

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How many unripe berries are missing on the last branch?

Answer: 6 berries. The next branch always contains just as many unripe berries as ripe berries on the previous branch.


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Which flower branch (1-6) does not belong?

Answer: Flower branch 2. The top flower of all the other branches has just as many petals as flowers on the branch.

Losing marbles

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Which marble (1-6) should replace the question mark?

Answer: Marble 3. All non-purple marbles are in groups of five and form an angle.


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Which shape (1-6) contains more white than black?

Answer: Shape 3. All the others contain equal portions of each.

Symbol signs

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Which symbol (1-6) is missing a line?

Answer: Symbol 4. From left to right, each symbol has one more line.

RELATED: 50 Easy Riddles (With Answers) Anyone Can Solve

For more challenging puzzles…

mind stretchers covers vol 1 and vol 2Mind Stretchers (2)

Purchase your own copy of Mind Stretchers for crosswords, word searches, trivia, logic puzzles, and more.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.