*A Maths Game under the Magnifying Glass*

**Archive - January 2014**

Now that we've spent a few weeks looking at shape puzzles, let's change focus and have some fun with a modern number game.

Kakuro is a very popular Japanese logic puzzle in which players arrange selected numbers from 1-9 into horizontal or vertical groups to add to a total shown at the top of each column and the left of each row. Each number may only be used once in any group. Can you solve the puzzle above?

Now let's start to think like a mathematician and break the game down.

What could you explore? Where's the maths? What skills were you using to complete the game?

Did you find it easier to start with certain types of clues? Why?

I wonder what the largest possible total for a group could be. What is the sum of all the numbers 1 through to 9?

That's got me thinking. What other combinations could we explore? If I had 8 different whole numbers that added to 41, is that enough information to work out what the numbers are? Why or why not?

Try thinking of your own 'what if' questions.

Kakuro is a great computational fluency activity as it requires you to make multiple calculations and to focus on all the number bonds to a given total. Feel free to come back as often as you like. The puzzles will be new each time.

Kakuro is a very popular Japanese logic puzzle in which players arrange selected numbers from 1-9 into horizontal or vertical groups to add to a total shown at the top of each column and the left of each row. Each number may only be used once in any group. Can you solve the puzzle above?

Now let's start to think like a mathematician and break the game down.

What could you explore? Where's the maths? What skills were you using to complete the game?

Did you find it easier to start with certain types of clues? Why?

I wonder what the largest possible total for a group could be. What is the sum of all the numbers 1 through to 9?

That's got me thinking. What other combinations could we explore? If I had 8 different whole numbers that added to 41, is that enough information to work out what the numbers are? Why or why not?

Try thinking of your own 'what if' questions.

Kakuro is a great computational fluency activity as it requires you to make multiple calculations and to focus on all the number bonds to a given total. Feel free to come back as often as you like. The puzzles will be new each time.