Without a calculator, work out the cheapest route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas:
Los Angeles  7  6  1 
6  9  3  7 
8  5  4  Las Vegas 
You can move from square to square horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally). Each time you enter a square you have to pay the amount shown.
Topics: Starter  Arithmetic  Puzzles
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Previous Day  This starter is for 20 November  Next Day
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You can view another version of this starter generated from random numbers. Puzzle 1 is the easiest, puzzle 5 is very difficult.
Alternatively you can change the size of the grid to make the problem more complex:
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Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.
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Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops? This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments: Transum.org/go/?Start=November20 However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below. 

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.