Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kakuro Love

Today brings a treat for puzzle geeks - the Times has a profile of the "Godfather of Sudoku," Maki Kaji. His company, Nikoli, is the worlds preeminent publisher of puzzles, of which Sudoku is the most popular.

A lot of the article is spent on discussions of other puzzles though, and Kakuro is mentioned a couple times. Which is cool for me to read, only because I am really into Kakuro, much to the chagrin of KS. You can try it out, the Times provided a few 'new' puzzle variants you can try. Let's just say, I DOMINATED Will Shortz's time (I didn't time myself, but I easily did it under a minute).

Do I think Kakuro is going to take off? Not even a little bit. There's a steeper learning curve, as one has to memorize unique sums, and it's just not as elegant as Sudoku. I like it because it has more constraints than Sudoku, and that makes for a few more things to juggle around in your head. Also, the Google Trends graph for the two doesn't look good for Kakuro.

Anyway, Nikoli lets users submit puzzles, and readers' comments guide the creation of further puzzles, which is cool. So more puzzles from Japan are coming, even if they're not as big as Sudoku. Awesome.

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