## Will Shortz Presents Easy Kakuro: 100 Addictive Logic Puzzles

### Will Shortz

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100 fun, easy logic puzzles for sudoku lovers to enjoy

If you like sudoku, you'll love kakuro, a new mind-twisting puzzle that's just as much fun. You're given a crossword-like grid with clue numbers in the shaded squares. The object is to complete the grid by putting a single digit from 1 to 9 in each white square. A clue number represents the sum of the digits to be placed in the squares to the right of it (for an Across answer) or beneath it (for a Down answer). No digit is repeated within an answer. Pick up a pencil and give these easy---but addictive---puzzles a try!

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Will Shortz has been crossword editor of The New York Times since 1993. He is also the puzzlemaster on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday and is the founder and director of the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. The author of numerous bestselling puzzle books, Will can be reached at www.crosswordtournament.com.

Introduction
They say everything old is new again. This is certainly true of kakuro, the new international puzzle sensation.

Despite the trendy Japanese name, kakuro, like sudoku before it, is not originally Japanese--and not particularly new. More on its surprising history in a moment.

The Idea of Kakuro

The object of kakuro is quite simple:

You're given a crossword-like grid with clue numbers in the shaded squares. The object is to complete the grid by putting a single digit from 1 to 9 in each white square. A clue number represents the sum of the digits to be placed in the squares to the right of it (for an Across answer) or beneath it (for a Down answer). No digit is repeated within an answer. In many of the puzzles, starting answers and/or digits have been filled in for you.

Like sudoku, kakuro is a grid puzzle using numbers. Unlike sudoku, solving requires actually adding and subtracting (nothing more complicated than that). But again, like sudoku, kakuro is a logic puzzle in which the object is to narrow down the possibilities for each square until you find the one that is correct.

In Japan, where kakuro has been popular for twenty years, it is called "the king of pencil puzzles"--no mean label in a country with dozens of wildly popular varieties of logic puzzles.

And in Britain, where kakuro was introduced in 2005 to rave reviews--and is now featured in several bestselling books--it has been proclaimed "even more addictive than sudoku!"

The History of Kakuro: Around the Globe and Back

Kakuro is one of the oldest grid logic puzzles in existence. We've traced it back to the April/May 1950 issue of Official Crossword Puzzles, published by Dell Publishing Company, where it was called "Cross Sums." It was the brainchild of a Canadian building constructor, Jacob E. Funk. Published intermittently at first, Cross Sums grew in popularity, and by the mid-1960s was appearing in every issue of every Dell puzzle magazine.

Originally, Cross Sums was presented like a crossword, with its numerical clues at the side. For example, 1-Across, "Twelve," 4-Across, "Fifteen," et cetera.

In 1966, someone--we'll probably never know who--had the brainstorm of putting the clues inside the grid, making the puzzle more compact and convenient to do. This is how the puzzle has appeared ever since.

Cross Sums went international in the 1980s, when a Japanese puzzle editor took the puzzle home from the United States and introduced it in his magazines under the name "Kasan kuroso." This is Japanese for "addition" plus the Japanese pronunciation of "cross." Eventually, the name was shortened to "kakkuro." Again, spiraling popularity.

In 2005, The Guardian and Daily Mail newspapers in Britain introduced "kakuro" (as they called it) as a daily feature, and from there the puzzle craze has quickly spread around the globe.

Trying Is Believing

If you've never tried a kakuro puzzle before, you may find it daunting at first. In fact, it may look impossible. But perseverance will pay off. It's a richly rewarding puzzle that will stretch your brain in ways different from sudoku or any other puzzle you've ever done.

The one hundred kakuro puzzles in this book start very easy and get more difficult as they proceed. The first ninety puzzles contain starting answers and digits, while the last ten puzzles have no starting hints at all.

For solving tips and strategies, see the following pages.

Good luck!

--Will Shortz

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