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Kakuro An intresting game! play Solving techniques

An easy Kakuro puzzle

how to play Kakuro  An intresting game! play Solving techniques

Kakuro puzzles resemble crosswords which use numbers instead of words. The aim of the game is to fill all the blank squares in the grid with only the numbers 1-9 so that the numbers you enter add up to the corresponding clues. When the grid is filled, the puzzle is complete. Sometimes called “Cross-sums” or “Kakro”, Kakuro is Sudoku’s bigger (and harder) brother.

Kakuro puzzle grids can be any size, though usually the squares within them have to be arranged symmetrically. As a rule of thumb, the more blank squares a puzzle contains, the harder it is, however this isn’t always true, especially if it is a good quality puzzle.

NOTE: It is very important to note that a proper Kakuro puzzle has only 1 unique solution, and it will always have a logical way of reaching it, there should be no guesswork needed.

In discussing Kakuro puzzles and tactics, the typical shorthand for referring to an entry is “(clue, in numerals)-in-(number of cells in entry, spelled out)”, such as “16-in-two” and “25-in-five”. The exception is what would otherwise be called the “45-in-nine” — simply “45” is used, since the “-in-nine” is mathematically implied (nine cells is the longest possible entry, and since it cannot duplicate a digit it must consist of all the digits from 1 to 9 once). Curiously, “3-in-two”, “4-in-two”, “5-in-two”, “43-in-eight”, and “44-in-eight” are still frequently called as such, despite the “-in-two” and “-in-eight” being equally implied.

Solving techniques

Although brute-force guessing is of course possible, a better weapon is the understanding of the various combinatorial forms that entries can take for various pairings of clues and entry lengths. Those entries with sufficiently large or small clues for their length will have fewer possible combinations to consider, and by comparing them with entries that cross them, the proper permutation — or part of it — can be derived. The simplest example is where a 3-in-two crosses a 4-in-two: the 3-in-two must consist of ‘1’ and ‘2’ in some order; the 4-in-two (since ‘2’ cannot be duplicated) must consist of ‘1’ and ‘3’ in some order. Therefore, their intersection must be ‘1’, the only digit they have in common.

It is common practice to mark potential values for cells in the cell corners until all but one have been proven impossible; for particularly challenging puzzles, sometimes entire ranges of values for cells are noted by solvers in the hope of eventually finding sufficient constraints to those ranges from crossing entries to be able to narrow the ranges to single values. Because of space constraints, instead of digits some solvers use a positional notation, where a potential numerical value is represented by a mark in a particular part of the cell, which makes it easy to place several potential values into a single cell. This also makes it easier to distinguish potential values from solution values.

I find this game to be more interesting than Su-do-ku. I had never been interested in Su-do-ku though I like number puzzles in general! This game is a perfect replacement to Su-do-ku!

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