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KenKen

Grade:
Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Standards:
Number and OperationsAlgebra
Math Content:
Number and Operations, Algebra

KenKen® is a puzzle game that helps students improve their calculation skills, logical thinking and persistence. The goal is to fill a grid with numbers so that no number appears more than once in any row or column. In addition, the numbers must combine to form a target number using a specific operation.

This page is updated with four new KenKen puzzles daily and is provided in collaboration with Nextoy, LLC.

Goin' mobile? Download NCTM KenKen from the iTunes App Store today!
 

Please note that as of Dec. 5, 2014, the KenKen website has been moved to www.kenkenpuzzle.com.
The following introductory video, which contains a sample problem and solution, explains how KenKen puzzles work.
 

Rules of KenKen  

Use the numbers 1 to n to fill an n × n grid — for instance, use the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 to fill a 4 × 4 grid — according to the following rules:

  • Every row and column must contain each number exactly once.
  • The numbers in each heavily outlined set of squares, called a cage, must combine (in any order) to produce the target number using the mathematical operation indicated.
  • A number may be repeated within a cage, as long as it is not in the same row or column.

The solution to the puzzle will be unique.

Puzzles on This Page  

This page is updated with four new puzzles daily. Each puzzle has different characteristics.

  A 4 × 4 grid, using only addition.
  A 4 × 4 grid, using only addition and subtraction.
  A 4 × 4 grid, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  A 6 × 6 grid, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Select one of these types under "Today's Puzzles." Solutions to the previous day's puzzles appear under "Yesterday's Solutions."

  • Try creating your own KenKen puzzles. Start with a 3×3, using only one operation. As you get better, challenge yourself to use all four operations.
  • What are some typical hints you find useful? For example, whenever you see a L-shaped cage, do you try to repeat a number twice?