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What are the rules of kakuro?

Question asked by: knowitall

After Sudoku, kakuro is probably the most popular puzzle export from Japan to the western world.

The rules are simple and it is a bit harder to play than sudoku as it requires addition and knowledge of combinations!

You start with a grid of rows and columns, like a crossword.

But here the numbers at the edge of a row or column of cells (called a 'run') determines the sum of the cells in that row or column.

Thus if there is a run of three cells and the number '14' at the left edge of that run, it means that the sum of those three cells, a + b + c = 14

Clearly with some values and length of run there are many more combinations than with others.

For each run, a number may only appear once - hence the comparison with sudoku. Thus for 4 off two cells, the only valid combinations are 3 + 1 or 1 + 3: as you cannot have 2 + 2 as this involves repetition.

Using your knowledge of combinations and the fact that a number cannot repeat, each valid puzzle of kakuro can be solved using logic and deduction alone; no guesswork is needed.

Over time you spot patterns to help you solve puzzles and work out where to start on a puzzle, typically smaller runs and those with less potential combinations.

By: Unknown
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kakuro  rules  

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