Tag Archives: puzzle

Try this: Solve a Kakuro

You will need

  • A copy of some Kakuro puzzles
  • Pencil and eraser

What to do

A Kakuro consists of a grid of boxes, some empty and some filled. Lines of empty boxes run across and down. These lines each have a clue – to the left of horizontal lines and above vertical ones. The aim is to write a digit from 1 to 9 in each empty box following two rules:

  • No two boxes in a line contain the same digit
  • Adding up all the digits in the line will equal the clue

There are a lot of tricks to this puzzle, so we’ll explain how to solve Puzzle A step by step: Continue reading Try this: Solve a Kakuro

Searching for the smallest, hardest Sudoku

sudoku

This Sudoku has 30 clues, but enthusiasts have found examples with only 17.

Sudoku are popular puzzles that can be seen in newspapers and puzzle books all around the world. The aim is to have a number in each one of the 81 boxes that make up the puzzle, while following certain rules. Some of the boxes start out with numbers in them already to act as clues. These clues make sure there is only one solution to the puzzle.

Most Sudoku have around 25 clues, but enthusiasts have long been interested in how few clues a Sudoku could have and still lead to only one answer. There are several Sudoku with only 17 clues, but no one had ever found a 16 clue Sudoku, so Gary McGuire from University College Dublin decided to look for one.

His strategy was simple – write down every possible answer, and then check to see if any of them could be posed as a 16 clue puzzle. Although the strategy was simple, it wasn’t going to be easy – there are 6 670 903 752 021 072 936 960 different possible answer grids to be checked. Continue reading Searching for the smallest, hardest Sudoku