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How to Play KenKen

KenKen can be a great way to challenge your puzzle-solving skills and pass the time.


  • Step 1: Examine the puzzle Examine the KenKen puzzle. The puzzle is composed of a grid of squares, with an equal number of columns to rows, and puzzles come in different sizes.
  • Step 2: Understand the rules Understand that the goal of KenKen is to fill the puzzle with digits so that no number repeats in any row or column. Digits are determined by the puzzle size, so a four by four-inch puzzle will use the digits one through four.
  • Step 3: Identify the cages Identify the cages, the heavily outlined boxes inside the puzzle.
  • Step 4: Start with single cages Fill in any cages that have only one square. The number in the upper corner is the only number that can go there.
  • Step 5: Fill in multiple cages Fill in the remaining cages by following the mathematical operation indicated in the top corner of the cage to produce the number indicated.
  • TIP: The order in which digits in a cage are subtracted or divided does not matter.
  • Step 6: Look for specific combinations Identify cages where only one combination of numbers will work, and fill that combination in.
  • TIP: Digits can be repeated in a cage as long as they do not repeat in a row or column.
  • Step 7: Experiment Experiment with different numbers in the squares you're unsure of, using your eraser when needed.
  • FACT: A British editor at a New York newspaper published the first crossword puzzle in 1913.

You Will Need

  • KenKen Puzzle
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

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