Making Maths Count

Deputy First Minister’s Christmas Maths Challenge 2019

December 20, 2019 by 5 Comments | Category Education, Games, Maths

I hope you had fun trying out this year’s Christmas Maths Challenge – you’ll find a link to the solutions below. Why not leave us a comment letting us know how you got on with the Christmas puzzles!

DFM’s Christmas Maths Challenge 2019 – Solutions


  • Andrea says:

    I have to say, I am not so keen on puzzle 2. When I first saw it I was all excited because I thought it was going to be a problem on “being sistematic”, but instead it was just a matter of using brute force to find “a” solution. Much more interesting problems would have been “how many solutions are there?” and “can you find them all?”, but they would be virtually impossible in the given setting because there are way too many numbers to play with.
    Also, there is too big a gap in difficulty between puzzle 2 and 3.
    As a whole, we enjoyed the challenge, but I feel that there was a learning opportunity that perhaps was missed.

    • Chris McCord says:

      Hi Andrea

      Thank you for your feedback on this year’s Christmas Maths Challenge. The puzzles and their content are designed for us by the Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC) – they ensure that the questions are suitable for pupils in primary 4. I have passed your comments onto the SMC for them to take on board for future Maths Challenges.

      Thanks again

  • Senthilkumar says:

    My Daughter and I really enjoyed working out puzzles. Great way to educate maths with fun…
    She had shown great interest in doing this activity..

  • Aisa Nebreda says:

    Answer to puzzle 3- question 6 (four calling birds…)
    Could the answer be 24 rather than 20?

    My daughter and I really enjoyed working out the puzzles. Great to get the answers on the blog and getting access to more maths activities.


    • Chris McCord says:

      Hi Aisa

      We’re glad that you and your daughter enjoyed the Christmas maths puzzles!

      For puzzle 3 question 6 we assumed that each of the birds has two legs each. So 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10 birds in total, and 10 x 2 = 20.


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