Strategies for Kakuro Puzzles
By Earl Talbot Kakuro Puzzles come in a variety of sizes. This means that different puzzles would also vary in the level of difficulty. Naturally, larger Kakuro Puzzles mean that they are much more difficult than the smaller ones. This is because there are naturally more numbers to solve, and longer columns or rows of combinations to fill in larger puzzles.
This article wishes to present some strategies that could be used by people who enjoy playing Kakuro Puzzles. For the advanced players, some of these strategies might already seem obvious. But for beginners, some of the strategies might otherwise prove to be useful and new.
In trying to solve Kakuro Puzzles, the first thing that a person should look at are the numbers that have the least number of combinations to be solved. The rows or columns that only have 2 to 3 empty boxes should be the first ones to be dealt with. Having the least number of empty boxes, it means that there are only a limited number of combinations that would need some solving.
The next thing to consider when solving Kakuro Puzzles is to try and look at the numbers that need to be solved. Afterwards, one should compare them with the other numbers that would intersect them at some point in the puzzle. Think of all the possible combinations for the two intersecting numbers. You would definitely be able to identify at least one digit that is present for both numbers that are being solved. In this case, it is most probable that the single common digit between the two belongs to the empty box where the row and column of the two numbers would intersect.
Another good strategy in trying to solve Kakuro Puzzles is to look at the small numbers first. This is also in accordance with the first strategy above. Small numbers such as 3 or 4 are definitely easier to solve compared to larger ones. This is because there are only two digits which are allowed to be used. That is 2 and 1 for the number 3, and the digits 3 and 1 for the number 4. For the first one, the possible combinations are 2 – 1, 3 – 0. But since you are only allowed to use numbers between 1 and 9, the second set on numbers are automatically crossed out from you options. This also applies for the second example because the combination, 2 – 2, is not allowed since for any given row or column, it is not allowed that any number be repeated.
As you go along solving Kakuro Puzzles, you might also come across numbers that you are already familiar with. Given that for every number, there is only a finite number of possible combinations, keeping a list of these sets would help you solve puzzles faster. This way, you do not have to try and think about the possible combinations. You need only to look at your list and scan them for the ones that would fit into the problem.
Kakuro Puzzles can be fun and exciting. They could also be intellectually stimulating because they exercise your arithmetic skills. However, they could also prove to be frustrating sometimes. These strategies might be able to help you during the most frustrating times of solving Kakuro Puzzles.
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