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This is an interactive variation of the puzzle described by Henry Ernest Dudeney in 'The Canterbury Puzzles'
"The Miller next took the company aside and showed them nine sacks of flour that were standing as depicted in the sketch. "Now, hearken, all and some," said he, "while that I do set ye the riddle of the nine sacks of flour. And mark ye, my lords and masters, that there be single sacks on the outside, pairs next unto them, and three together in the middle thereof. By Saint Benedict, it doth so happen that if we do but multiply the pair, 28, by the single one, 7, the answer is 196, which is of a truth the number shown by the sacks in the middle. Yet it be not true that the other pair, 34, when so multiplied by its neighbour, 5, will also make 196. Wherefore I do beg you, gentle sirs, so to place anew the nine sacks with as little trouble as possible that each pair when thus multiplied by its single neighbour shall make the number in the middle." As the Miller has stipulated in effect that as few bags as possible shall be moved, there is only one answer to this puzzle, which everybody should be able to solve."


Transum.orgThis web site contains over a thousand free mathematical activities for teachers and pupils. Click here to go to the main page which links to all of the resources available. Please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions. 
More Activities: 

Mathematicians are not the people who find Maths easy; they are the people who enjoy how mystifying, puzzling and hard it is. Are you a mathematician? Comment recorded on the 6 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Natalie, London: "I am thankful for providing such wonderful starters. They are of immence help and the students enjoy them very much. These starters have saved my time and have made my lessons enjoyable." Comment recorded on the 28 May 'Starter of the Day' page by L Smith, Colwyn Bay: "An absolutely brilliant resource. Only recently been discovered but is used daily with all my classes. It is particularly useful when things can be saved for further use. Thank you!" 
Each month a newsletter is published containing details of the new additions to the Transum website and a new puzzle of the month. The newsletter is then duplicated as a podcast which is available on the major delivery networks. You can listen to the podcast while you are commuting, exercising or relaxing. Transum breaking news is available on Twitter @Transum and if that's not enough there is also a Transum Facebook page. 

Numeracy"Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in Mathematics but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data are gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables." Secondary National Strategy, Mathematics at key stage 3 

Go MathsLearning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths main page links to more activities designed for students in upper Secondary/High school.  
Teachers  
If you found this activity useful don't forget to record it in your scheme of work or learning management system. The short URL, ready to be copied and pasted, is as follows: 
Alternatively, if you use Google Classroom, all you have to do is click on the green icon below in order to add this activity to one of your classes. 
It may be worth remembering that if Transum.org should go offline for whatever reason, there are mirror site at Transum.info that contains most of the resources that are available here on Transum.org. When planning to use technology in your lesson always have a plan B! 
Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments. 