Perfect intersection of patterns, logic, & math
November 8, 2018 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I recently discovered Kenken puzzles. At the site you can select the grid size and level of difficulty. Borderline addictive, at least for me; YMMV.

The best source I've found so far, for learning higher level strategies is Harold Reiter's pages on the game.
posted by dancing leaves (29 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Oh boy, I went down a Kenken hole a few years ago and I think my main daily play was that site, yeah. As a puzzle it's a nice variant on the Sudoku form; some more surprising twists in both spatial logic and the processes of elimination based on the different arithmetic operations.
posted by cortex at 3:03 PM on November 8

posted by memebake at 3:12 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]

Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection is a collection of really thoughtful and occasionally difficult puzzles.

It has both a kenken and sudoku implementations that I still love, even after playing for at least a decade.

They're untimed and not at all competitive. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it isn't.
posted by boo_radley at 3:24 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]

The site is adblocker-hostile, fwiw.
posted by edheil at 3:32 PM on November 8 [28 favorites]

yeah I would give it more of a chance if it wasn't so aggressive with ads and anti-adblocking
posted by numaner at 3:34 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]

Yes, I know. I go to the site, select the puzzle I want, disable adblocker and click the popup, then re-enable adblocker.

A bit of a pain, but it seems to work as I don't notice intrusive ads and the annoying popup only comes up once, at the beginning of a game.
posted by dancing leaves at 3:38 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]

I use Ghostery, and if I turn off the ad blocking part of Ghostery it lets me through but blocks all the tracker-backed ads. It's the tracking I care about, for the most part - ads that are served directly by the site tend not to be as much of a threat.
posted by Merus at 3:43 PM on November 8

KenKen's aggressive ads drove me elsewhere. That's how I found Futoshiki.
posted by cooper green at 3:59 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]

In ublock, I just gave the greenlight to '' and left everything else blocked.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 4:20 PM on November 8

Chipping in on the general grumbling, I happily disabled Adblock yet it somehow still wants me to disable Adblock. Patience gone, thanks for linking though, because I was interested.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:22 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]

Missed the edit window, which I fully intended to abuse. Was thinking, "Gosh I hope that wasn't their first FPP... oh, I could check... oh, shit!". Not for me to tell you, but please do keep finding and sharing cool stuff like this dancing leaves.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:30 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]

Been playing this for years. The New York Times also has a free daily KenKen feature.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:02 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]

Lately I've been hooked on Binairo and Nonograms -- the site has some other good puzzles as well (scroll to the bottom of the page).

You have to give them an email address to save your games times, but mailinator accounts work fine.
posted by TwoToneRow at 5:41 PM on November 8

i’ve been doing these for over a decade in the NYT. super fun. my favorite review of them was in slate: ”I Was Told There Would Be No Math”
posted by bruceo at 6:13 PM on November 8

Long, long ago I played a game that was a rather complex version of Binairo, I believe. I can't quite remember it -- I think it had more than 2 symbols, and there were four grids set next to each other in a square and you had to solve each quadrant as well as the overall table.

Nonograms is kinda fun, too.

There's also a daily Set puzzle over here.
posted by dancing leaves at 7:43 PM on November 8

I love KenKen. It's a favorite to get out for math students to kill time. One summer I had kids so into them they would ask me to pull them up on my phone and then each kid would draw them out in their own notebook and do them. Fun to project on a whiteboard too. They are a great team activity, especially if you institute a rule that to place a number you must explain the logic.
Kenken has even gotten me through a visit w/ my in-laws when we pulled one up on their tv and sat around on the couch doing them together.
posted by Wulfhere at 8:12 PM on November 8

Well, I grabbed an app and started a 6x6 one that I've been stuck on for an hour. Love it, thanks!
posted by lucidium at 5:43 AM on November 9

One thing I'm not getting - since each demarcated block is evaluated on its own, isn't the grid layout just window dressing?
posted by each day we work at 6:28 AM on November 9

One thing I'm not getting - since each demarcated block is evaluated on its own, isn't the grid layout just window dressing?

I'm not sure I understand the question, but one of the constraints of the puzzle is that each digit must appear exactly once in each column and row.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:20 AM on November 9

It has the same row/column constraints as sudoku. Big difference is that instead of square cages that must also be a permutation you have irregular regions that must satisfy an equation.

As if I didn't need yet another dimension to my current sudoku obession.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:22 AM on November 9

The grid needs to contain unique digits in each row and column from 1 through n where n is grid size.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:27 AM on November 9

I had initially assumed that groups could also only have 1 of each number, but that is not the case. So you can have a 14+ (for example) that is a 5,4,5 if it goes round a corner.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:28 AM on November 9

Not sure if it is available on iPhones but for Android, I use an app called KenKen Classic II. You get 50 free games, and I paid the $20 or so to get 1000 new puzzles. You can choose your grid size, the difficulty, and the math required (just + for example, or all +-x/). No ads.

Logic games like KenKen and Sudoku soothe my anxiety. I love 'em.
posted by twilightlost at 7:34 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]

I love KenKen. I used to have the app on my phone but had to delete it for space reasons; now that I have a ton of space I should get it again. Oddly, I never did see the appeal of Sudoku, maybe because it doesn't require math.
posted by holborne at 9:04 AM on November 9

This is my kind of thing and pretty quick to get the hang of. I used to play a ton of Sudoku but I burned out and switched to Drop 7 which an iOS update killed. Also, KEN-GRATULATIONS! is exactly what I want it to say when I win.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:10 AM on November 9

Sudoku is all math, it's just not all arithmetic.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:10 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]

Excellent point, and my mistake.
posted by holborne at 12:14 PM on November 9

Sorry, that was overly snarky by me.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 2:02 PM on November 9

Yay, I got:
|2+ |   |
and stared at that for three minutes before choosing to reveal solution, just to find out the + was actually a ÷ I couldn't tell apart at that font size.
posted by JHarris at 3:43 PM on November 9

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