#20) I like Kakuro

Kakuro is a Japanese number puzzle that’s sometimes referred to as a bigger brother of the similar game Soduko.  It might be described as a sort of numeric crossword puzzle, where the “letters” are digits and “words” are sums.  For example, a line may require four numbers that add to 23.   As with crossword puzzles, numbers will often have to work in two different directions, and in Kakuro, no line can have the same digit twice.

At first, even an easy Kakuro puzzle may look like a jumble.  However, the rules that might seem intimidating at first actually help.  For example, if a line consists of two numbers that have to add up to 3, the only two that work are 1 and 2.  Three numbers that add up to 7 must be 1, 2 and 4.  There are quite a few other combinations that become obvious as one does more of these puzzles.

Given that with me, wasting a certain amount of time on the Internet is more or less inevitable, I’ve found that Kakuro is a relatively enjoyable way to do so, and it actually gives my brain something constructive to do.  I like solving problems, and Kakuro requires that kind of thinking.  You might get stuck, but then you’ll see something you missed–and immediately, a positive sort of domino effect happens.  One number figured out causes you to figure out another, and then another, and so forth.

Sudoku turned out to be somewhat of a passing fancy with me, and I think Kakuro ultimately will be too–but as far as Internet diversions go, this was one of the more enjoyable.

To try some free online Kakuro puzzles, visit www.kakuroconquest.com.

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