Puzzled by KenKen?

TEACHERS: Click here for a printable handout of these instructions.  

For more detailed instructions on how to use this widget, click on the grid size you want, then click on "Help." 

HOW TO PLAY KENKEN:

  1. You must fill in the numbers from 1 to 4 (for a 4 x 4 grid) in each row and column. Do not repeat a number in any row or column.

  2. The areas of the grid with dark outlines around them are called cages. At the top left of each cage is a target number and operation. In this example, the cage at the top left says "4+". That means the two numbers that go in that cage must add (+) up to 4.

  3. Look for any cages that are around just one box. The target number will have no math operation symbol. Simply write the target number in that cage. In the sample puzzle, find the one-box cages that say "2" and "3" and write those numbers in those boxes.

  4. Now let's look for cages that have only one possible solution. Let's try the "4+" cage towards the bottom right. What two different numbers from 1 to 4 have a sum of 4? The only answer is 1 + 3. In which box do we put the 1 and which do we put the 3? Easy—there's already a 3 in the far right column. So the 3 must go in the third column, and the 1 must go in the far-right column.

  5. You've almost finished the second-to-bottom row! What number is missing from the row? The 4 must go in the far left of that row. Now what else can you figure out?

  6. Look for other cages, rows, and columns where there is only one possible solution.

  7. Keep going until you've completed the whole puzzle! Make sure you haven't repeated any number more than once in any row or column.

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