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Location: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States

"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Kakuro \

You might have come across this term while browsing. I tried solving one about a month ago, but left it half-way. But I didn't know it was such a rage before Kaps wrote about it replacing Sudoku in bookstores.

Wikipedia defines Kakuro or Cross Sums thus:

... is a very common type of logic puzzle that is often referred to as a mathematical transliteration of the crossword. In principle, Cross Sums puzzles are integer programming problems, and can be solved using matrix techniques, although they are typically solved by hand.
That itself is enough to drive away a matrix-averse person like me. Hold on, it isn't as nerd-ish as it sounds.

A typical Kakuro puzzle looks like this. The objective is to fill out the white squares (the ones without any numbers or crosses) with numbers from 1 to 9 such that the sum of numbers in the same line as a clue adds up to the clue. That sounds pretty easy, but unless you tinker with a puzzle or two, it is quite tough to get the funda behind this game.

There are a lot many websites where you can try your hand at this new craze. Kakuro.com and Kakuro.net are the top links from Google. It is also a good idea to check out a host of other websites which offer Kakuro games. If you are just starting, do try out the Kakuro tutorial applet and the walkthrough on Kakuro.net.


Blogger Karthik said...

>>Hold on, it isn't as nerd-ish as it sounds.

To every simple thing, a beautiful, mathematical explanation can be offered. It takes some time and effort for laymen like us to see the beauty.

The explanation may be more complex than what it is necessary for describing this particular case and the effort may seem a vanity. But it lets us go to more general things than the instance under consideration.

5/22/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

this looks slightly difficult than the normal sudoku. I hadn't heard this name before visiting the book shop. i don't think newspapers will start carrying this.

5/22/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Vijay Krishna said...

@Karthik: I am reminded of a line from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair: "Her beauty dispelled from me any notions of accessibility." Kakuro may be beautiful, but it is way too difficult, hence thumbs down.

@Kaps: Yes, Sudoku is a hit because it is simple, and anyone can start working on it from the word go. Kakuro is complex. However, I read that The Guardian is carrying Kakuro puzzles everyday.

5/22/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

Correction....i think Dinamalar is carrying Kakuro....but they are not using the term Kakuro for the puzzle.

5/23/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Krithiga said...

Whoa, cool. Thanks for introducing Kakuro. I'm gonna begin solving them. I was getting bored with Sudoku

5/23/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can play kakuro here : kakuro online.
good game and good luck !!!

6/11/2006 05:44:00 PM  

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