Wycombe Abbey Christmas Maths Quiz: Conundrum

In recent years, the Wycombe Abbey Mathematics Department has run monthly puzzle competitions for pupils. Due to their popularity, we launched the initiative to a much wider audience outside School and attracted more than 300 participants world-wide.

As these competitions have grown, it became clear that a new online platform was needed to enhance them and we are now delighted to introduce the new Conundrum Website which has been launched to host future competitions. The site was built by Monogram, the developers of the School website, and was made possible by a donation from a former parent. With this investment, it will be possible to run bigger and better competitions moving forward, providing enrichment and extension to pupils at Wycombe Abbey and to the wider community.

The first of many Conundrum quizzes is being launched to coincide with Christmas. There will be 24 festive problems released daily between 1 December and Christmas Eve, and enthusiastic puzzlers will have until 6 January to solve them. This competition will be open to all school-age pupils, and an account can be set up by clicking below. In order to be eligible for a prize, participants will need to provide the email address of a teacher, and competitors under 13 will need parental consent.

 Sign up for Conundrum

As a flavour of the competition, here is the first of the problems:

Today, 1 December 2022 is a Thursday.

Assume that leap years happen once every four years whenever the year number is divisible by 4, except in years that are divisible by 100 unless they are divisible by 400. This means that the years 400, 800, 1200 etc are leap years, but 100, 200, 300 and 500 etc are not.

Using this information (and ignoring any other changes to the calendar that may have occurred) what day of the week was Jesus’ traditional birthday of 25 December in the year 1 CE.

Wycombe Abbey hopes that you have a happy puzzling Christmas; we will release more fun Conundrum quizzes in the future.

Mr David Vaccaro
Director of Learning and Innovation

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