Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cleverness Squared...!

[Image Courtesy - KenKen]
What do you do when the thoughts in your mind flow like a running water and you find it hard to give your 100% attention to the coolest project amongst a dozen others you are pursuing at any time? (Now, that certainly sounds familiar :D). Well, the answer is simple, you engage yourself in activities that build your conctration and help you to FOCUS !

The other day a group of cheerful kids in the local Public Library caught my attention momentarily. They looked super excited and were discussing about some logic riddle. Now the word "puzzle" was sufficient for my brain to instruct my ear lobes to stretch themselves and make every possible attempt to learn about this supposedly cool puzzle. After a few minutes of eavesdropping (Hey I knoe its a bad habit but the situation was critical you see), I got the name of the puzzle - "KaneKane".

Very quickly I grabbed a vacant PC in the Library and googled for "KaneKane" only to learn that the correct name of the puzzle was "KenKen":( Anyways, I avoided the immediate disappointment by telling myself that it was more of an accent issue than a hearing issue (Yay-me !) and started reading more about KenKen. I learned that this puzzle was invented by Tetsuya Miyamato - a charismatic Japanese Maths teacher and almost every forum on the internet declared KenKen to be the best and the most brilliant successor of Sudoku. Waaaaoooow - I said to myself, I gotta solve one right away! See this is what happens when you go to Library with a humble ambition of studying...you end up doing everything but studying ;). But c'mmon you can do whatever you wish on the weekends-right? Anyways, here are some of the most appealing things about the Puzzle:
  • Quick: Unlike Sudoku, KenKen requires arithmetic (+, -, *, /) and it sure serves to recall the dormal High School Mental / Vedic Maths though its not a necessary prerequisite.
  • Cage Concept: In addition to seeing that any digit is not repeated in any row/column, one has to ensure that the digits within the cage (boldly outlined box) work out using the Arithmetic Oprn shown to yield the target number indicated.
  • Simplicity: The cages with just one box need to be filled in with the target number in the top corner and often you start solving KenKen by filling in these numbers first.
  • Meaning : It means Cleverness Squared :D

While I have always loved solving Sudoku or a Kakuro, KenKen beats them all for its so much more fun! Here are few links you might wish to check out when you wish to exercise your brain, reconnect with your love (with numbers I mean), build concentration and ofcourse join the global KenKen craze :D Happy Solving Folks !

Link 1 Link 2 Link 3 Link 4 Link 5

"When the impossible has been eliminated, then whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth.~Sherlock Holmes"

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