Yes, We KenKen

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Will Shortz, crossword editor for the New York Times and puzzlemaster for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, explains KenKen, the new numbers-based puzzle in the Times, and looks ahead to the weekend's crossword puzzle championship in Brooklyn.


Will Shortz

Comments [3]

Brian Foley from Upstate NY

Kenken is as addictive as Mr. Shortz says. I know, because I am an addict (albeit a happy one.)

I don't know of any other activity that can help people get a sense for numbers as well as playing Kenken. I've put up several hours of video tutorials about it at

I hope every teacher and parent gives this puzzle a try, and introduces it to their students/children. They'll be doing them a huge favor (as long as they don't spoil it by grading them on it!)

May. 18 2009 10:07 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I've been wondering if Will Shortz is familiar with FreeRice (, the online vocabulary game that gives 10 grains of rice for each correct answer to a UN anti-hunger program. They've had to cut that from 20 grains because corporations have cut back on ads at the site (which fund the rice donations), & I've thinking that a tournament might be a good way to get more sponsors & raise the game's profile, which could get more people playing, which could attract more sponsors--in addition to the fact that the tournament would give a lot of rice itself!

But I don't know anything about putting a tournament together. Or whether this game's structure lends itself to a tournament at all. Would Will be interested in looking into this possibility?

Feb. 24 2009 11:40 AM
Nick from NYC

#1) Can you ask your guest about how crossword puzzles are generated today, and how that may have changed? And, why are they usually symmetrical?

#2) Puzzler - how do the excessive salary levels of WNYC executives (not journalists) fit in with the mission and ethos of *public* radio?
As a sustaining member, I urge all fellow listeners to support WNYC, but register your protest against excessive salary levels of WNYC's top executives!

Feb. 24 2009 11:33 AM

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