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Make Six Puzzle – Number Challenge

I don’t know the exact origin of this Make Six Puzzle/Number Challenge, but I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to turn it into a resource I could use in my high school math classroom.

make six puzzle.

In this Make Six Puzzle, you are given eight equations. You must insert mathematical symbols (no digits) to make each equation equal six. If you are wondering what mathematical symbols you are allowed to use, that is up to you!

Make Six Puzzle - Number Challenge

The only restriction is that you cannot add any digits to the equation. This includes adding exponents.

make six puzzle number challenge

I first featured the puzzle in Volume 66 of Monday Must Reads. Tierney Kennedy shared this puzzle after seeing it on LinkedIn of all places.

In the comments of that twitter thread, 1to9puzzle [SPOILER ALERT – this link includes discussion of solutions] shared that they had run across the puzzle three years previously and had shared it on their twitter account.

As a result, I’m not sure exactly who to credit with the puzzle. If anyone knows of a source, I would love for you to share so I can share more details with my readers!

Make Six Puzzle - Number Challenge
Make Six Puzzle - Number Challenge
Make Six Puzzle - Number Challenge

Desmos Version of Make Six Challenge

Kathy Henderson shared a Desmos version of this activity. Students use the sketch tools to complete the challenge.

Make Six Puzzle - Number Challenge

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

Catherine Adamson

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Many thanks for your great website!

Kelsey Timms

Friday 19th of November 2021

This is a great puzzle!

Aparna Ram

Thursday 18th of November 2021

I want to try this out with my students. Thank you.


Sunday 31st of October 2021

Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

Joanne Blake

Thursday 14th of October 2021

Hi - May I get an answer key please? Thank you!

Sarah Carter

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Email sent!

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