Perhaps the two most popular puzzles today are crossword and sudoku puzzles. It should not therefore be a surprise to learn that Kakuro puzzles, which are in essence a combination of crossword and sudoku puzzles, are also extremely popular today.
A kakuro puzzle looks a bit like a crossword grid and is solved using a set of rules which are similar to those used for sudoku. One difference however is that, as well as the logic required to solve a sudoku puzzle, a kakuro puzzle requires some mathematics. Fortunately, this is generally limited to simple addition.
Kakuro originated in the United States in 1950. Invented by James Funk, a Canadian, puzzles were first published by Dell Magazines under the name of “Cross Sums” or “Cross Sum Puzzles”. Like sudoku, which also originated in the United States, kakuro was later popularized by the Japanese and given the name by which it is known today.
There is no single method for solving kakuro puzzles and it is really a case of coming up with your own particular strategy, arrived at through practice. That said, it can be a little daunting if you are just starting out and so you may want to begin by following a guide which includes a set of “cheat sheets”. These are charts which show you all of the possible solutions for each possible number of boxes in a standard puzzle. For example, if you have 3 boxes and the clue number is 22, the cheat sheet will show you that there are only 2 possible solutions using the numbers 5, 8 and 9 or 6, 7 and 9.
If you are new to solving kakuro puzzles, or would simply like some extra help, you can download a free copy of our own in-house guide – Solving Kakuro Sum Puzzles.