A while back I wrote about my new interest in Kenken.  I had tried sudoku and had some fun with that, but kenken was way more interesting for me.  I still am hooked.  My wife has recently borrowed my book of puzzles and has been plowing through them.  Good for her.  I am a little concerned that I will have none to do in that book when she ends her spree, but no matter.  At the moment I am into kakuro.

My parents, in their wisdom, gave me a half dozen puzzle books for father’s day.  One of them was a book of kakuro puzzles.  I had never done them before, never even seen them before.  The book describes them on the back cover:

Kakuro are half sudoku, half crossword, and use a combination of logic and arithmetic.  They will require you to focus, think carefully, and reason your way out of missteps.

It is a good thing these are math based puzzles, otherwise I might not forgive the split infinitive in the description, but why be picky?  I managed to flub the first puzzle in the book, making an error somewhere that I finally just left behind, but once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t stop.  They are a blast.  Here is a sample, from kakuro.com:

Sample Kakuro Puzzle

Sample Kakuro Puzzle

Both this site and kakuro.net have some good samples and online puzzles and links. The idea is to add each row across so it adds to the number written at left without repeating any digits 1-9.  Then do the same for the vertical rows with the number at the top.  So if you look at the top left, you need to add two numbers to get 4.  Only 3 and 1 work.  Then you need to figure out which order they need to be written.  It is good fun, simple to understand yet often challenging to solve.

I still am jazzed on crossword puzzles and kenken, and those books still litter the house, but at the moment, kakuro holds my interest the most.  In fact, I need to stop typing now.  I have a puzzle left unfinished from earlier.