Summer Kakuro

Summer Kakuro

by Pete Sinden


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Kakuro is a Japanese game of logic - and the next big puzzle craze to sweep the world since Su Doku. Like Su Doku, Kakuro is played on grids of varying sizes, using the numbers 1 to 9 and, like Su Doku, Kakuro is absorbing, addictive and utterly compelling. Combining numbers and logic, and with interconnectedness of a crossword puzzle, this is a game for everyone - all you need is the ability to add two numbers together.

Like previous volumes in this series, Summer Kakuro contains full instructions to the game, along with hints, tips and invaluable number-combination tables, as well as more than 200 original puzzles for beginners to experts (and their solutions).

If you like Su Doku, then you are certain to fall under the spell of the endlessly diverting, uniquely challenging Kakuro! Summer Kakuro guarantees countless hours of mind-exercising enjoyment, an ideal entertainment and distraction when traveling distances, lying on the beach or by the pool, or during any downtime - vacation or otherwise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743297509
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 07/10/2007
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Gareth Moore holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the field of machine intelligence and designed his own Kakuro computer program in fall 2005. Visit his Kakuro website at

Read an Excerpt


What is Kakuro?

Kakuro is an extremely addictive puzzle game — a test of skill and logic. All you have to do is place numbers 1 to 9 on the puzzle grid. Easy!

Or is it? Only one arrangement of numbers will give the correct answer. It can be seductively simple or it can be mind-bending. This book contains 201 Kakuro puzzles at four levels of difficulty (Piece of Cake, Tea Break, Lunch Break and All Nighter) — enough to satisfy beginners and addicts alike for hours on end.

How to play Kakuro

The diagram overleaf shows a small Kakuro puzzle. The objective is to place numbers 1 to 9 in the white cells on the grid, so that each row or column of adjoining white cells adds up to the total printed in the dark grey cell to their left (for a row) or above (for a column). The light grey cells do not play any part in the game.

YOU MUST place the numbers 1 to 9 in the white cells in the unique arrangement so that all the column and row totals are correct.

YOU MUST NOT repeat a number in any continuous row or column of white cells.

How to crack Kakuro

Begin by looking at the totals (the dark grey cells) — these are your first clues.

For example:

Looking at the puzzle shown, and starting in its simplest area, the bottom row, there are two white cells that must add together to make 3 (the value marked in the dark grey cell to their left).

We know that 1 + 2 = 3. Any other combination of two numbers between 1 and 9, where no number is repeated, will add up to a value greater than 3, so this row must contain 1 and 2.

All we have to do now is determine the order in which they should appear: is it [1,2] or [2,1]? To do this we must look at the neighbouring cells.

Look first at the two cells in the row above. We are told these contain two numbers that add to make 4. 1 + 3 is the only combination of two numbers that add to make 4, without repeating a number (2 + 2 would repeat the value 2).

Look next at the far right column of the grid. It contains two numbers that add to make 3, so we know it must contain a 1 and a 2 (using the same reasoning that we used for the bottom row).

So which number goes in which cell?

Let's try a few combinations and see how we get on. First we will try placing the numbers 1 and 2 in the bottom row in the order [2,1].

If we do this we must place a 2 in the last cell of the row above, to make the far right column add up to 3. However, as this cell's row must be made up of a 1 and a 3, to give a total of 4, placing a 2 must be wrong.

Therefore we must go back and try placing the numbers in the bottom row in a different order [1,2], and then follow the same logical steps to see if this results in a better outcome.

As we can see, all the numbers we have placed now add up to the correct column and row totals without repeating any value in any row or column. In fact, they also allow us to make the leap quickly to filling in a 2 in the only open white cell in the fourth column, to give the required column total of 6.

In larger puzzles, several continuous blocks of white cells may appear in a single row (as in a crossword). While you must not repeat a value in any adjoining white cells, you may repeat values across the whole row or column providing they fall in separate groups of white cells. The example below should explain this clearly:

As can be seen, the numbers 1 and 3 appear twice in the top row. This is perfectly correct as they do not appear more than once in either of the two ontinuous blocks of adjoining white cells.


When you first see a Kakuro puzzle, you may think it is all about maths. Don't be fooled. And don't panic. It isn't. Only simple sums are ever used and these are repeated time and again, so quickly become second nature.

But for anyone who wasn't paying attention (or prefers never to add), cheat sheets are included at the back of this book listing by total all the possible valid number combinations from 1 to 9.

Arranging the numbers is the challenge!

Then starts the addiction...

Kakuro will drive you crazy.

The greatest challenge will be putting it down... Text copyright © 2005 by Peter Sinden

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