The Fun of FutoshikiFutoshiki is a fairly-commonly seen variant of the sudoku puzzle, and is another variant that makes use of the fact that one is using numbers to solve these puzzles.
The puzzles are one of the most popular variants because there is one simple extra rule: that where inequalities appear between cells, they must be obeyed. These allow you to narrow down the values that can go in these sets of cells and thus help you to reach the solution.
Futoshiki puzzles are most commonly seen at either 5 x 5 grid size or 7 x 7 grid sizes (other sizes do appear but much less frequently). Because of the additional information provided by the inequalities then, even though there only two regions in these puzzles, there will be fairly few givens in a grid - and indeed there may be none at all given, as one sees with killer sudoku.
As soon as one learns which symbol is which ( > for greater than and < for less than) - if not already familiar with these from doing maths at school - then it is just a case of using this extra information to whittle down the options that is required to solve futoshiki.
Of course, there are some simple rules that these introduce that will be picked up after solving a few puzzles. For instance, if the value in a cell is greater than both the cell to the right of it AND the cell to the left of it (or alternatively above AND below) then the lowest value in the stated cell is 3, given we have this situation in this instance:
Futoshiki puzzles, although not uncommon, are usually seen published alongside a range of other logic puzzles rather than on their own... we're not aware of any magazines that have ever been published purely of futoshiki for instance.
Related puzzlesArrow Sudoku, Calcudoku, Circle Sudoku, Consecutive Sudoku, Graeco-Latin Sudoku, HyperSudoku, Irregular Sudoku, Isosudoku, Killer Sudoku, Offset Sudoku, Outside Sudoku, Samurai Sudoku, Star Sudoku, Sudoku, Sudoku X, Toroidal Sudoku
Last updated: 16 Feb 2012
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