Posted by Dan on Nov 19th, 2008
Nov 19


Conceptis is launching a new puzzle.  A sample puzzle is on the left, the solution on the right.  The numbers obey the same row and column restrictions as sudoku.  The blocks have to satisfy the math clues in the upper left.  For example, 20X means that the three numbers have to satisfy A * B * C = 20.  Might be 1, 4 and 5 or 2, 2 and 5.  The interesting thing about these puzzles is that they start out with no digits filled in.

I’ve been solving Conceptis sudokus in the newspaper for some time now.  My only complaint is that they’re too easy.  The KenDokus look pretty easy too.  The 3X block has to be 1, 1 and 3 with the 3 in the corner to prevent the 1s from being in the same row or column.  The same is true of the 5X block since 5 is also prime.  So we already have four of the 1s filled in, and the row and column constraints leave only one spot for the fifth 1.  And so forth.  Too easy.  Maybe a 9-by-9 KenDoku would be more challenging.

I’m usually skeptical of attempts to market variations of a classic puzzle.  These things seem like solutions in search of a problem, or products in search of a market.  I don’t want something similar to a sudoku, but different.  I don’t want:

New!  Improved!  Now with baking soda!

I want something exactly like a sudoku, but harder.