KENKEN is a grid-based numerical puzzle that uses the basic math operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—while also challenging your logic and problem-solving skills. By altering the size of a KENKEN grid, from 3 x 3 up to 9 x 9, and employing different combinations of the math operations, five different difficulty levels can be generated, and a seemingly endless number of puzzles.
KENKEN was developed in 2004 by… no, not two guys named Ken… it was acclaimed Japanese mathematics instructor Tetsuya Miyamoto. His goal was to improve his students’ math and logic skills. And what better tool than a puzzle? So he developed one that would be understandable, fun, and challenging for any level of student. Most importantly, he wanted the puzzle to encourage independent thinking, emphasizing trial and error, concentration, and perseverance. Mr. Miyamoto’s educational philosophy boils down to “The Art of Teaching Without Teaching.™” His methods and puzzle were immediately successful.
The goal of KenKen is to fill a grid with numbers so that no number appears more than once in any row or column. In addition, the numbers must combine to form a target number using a specific operation.
Use the numbers 1 to n to fill an n×n grid — for instance, use the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 to fill a 4×4 grid — according to the following rules:
- Every row and column must contain each number exactly once.
- The numbers in each heavily outlined set of squares, called a cage, must combine (in any order) to produce the target number using the mathematical operation indicated.
- A number may be repeated within a cage, as long as it is not in the same row or column.
The solution to the puzzle will be unique.