25th November 2005 at 00:00
Puzzles to test mathematical skills, set by Anita Straker. Solutions below More brainteasers on


A palindromic number reads the same forwards or backwards, such as 121 or 4994.

1 2 3 4 5 5 4 3 2 1

How many palindromic numbers are there between 10 and 10,000?

Magic numbers

In a magic square the total of the numbers in any row, any column, or either of the two diagonals is the same.

Each of the two squares below is a magic square. Letters are used instead of numbers, using the code A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, and so on.

What word can be made from the missing letters?

SOLUTIONS Palindromes (ages 7 to 12) There are 189 palindromic numbers between 10 and 10,000: 9 from 11 to 99, and 90 from 101 to 999, and a further 90 from 1,001 to 9,999. Thinking about how many there must be in each block of 100 or 1,000 will produce a solution.

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