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North Castle Daily News

Westchester Smart: International KENKEN® Math Competition

May 11, 2015
Students in grades 6-12 invited to compete as part of an ongoing effort to promote STEM education in Westchester. County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced that the Westchester County Youth Bureau will host an international KENKEN® math competition from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on May 31 at Pace University, 861 Bedford Road, Pleasantville.

The tournament is open to students in grades 6-12 and participation is free. To sign up, email or call (914) 995-3918. Prizes will be provided by IBM and Acorda Therapeutics.
“The fields of science, technology, engineering and math – better known as STEM – are growing in leaps and bounds and Westchester students are at the forefront,” said Astorino. “We have some of the best and brightest young minds, and I have no doubt this tournament will help push their limits. It also showcases our commitment to STEM education and the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”

KENKEN® is a challenging pencil-and-paper puzzle that originated in Japan and has attracted millions of enthusiasts. KENKEN® puzzles are carried daily in the New York Times and hundreds of other newspapers.
Up to 125 students are expected to participate in the “Westchester Smart: Westchester Loves Math International KENKEN® Tournament.” Among the competition will be five finalists from India, who won a trip to compete at Pace during a KENKEN® tournament consisting of over 14,000 students held in more than 200 schools across India.
The KENKEN® company has an office in Pleasantville, which has partnered with the Youth Bureau on other local competitions. “Over 30,000 teachers nationwide have already discovered that KENKEN® can help even the most math-averse students,” said Robert Fuhrer, founder of the company. “Not only does KENKEN® help develop math and critical thinking skills, but it also instills a sense of self confidence and perseverance.”

Iris Pagan, executive director of the Westchester Youth Bureau, added: “The skills fostered through this competition will help students in their everyday lives, far beyond just math class.”
Can you complete the puzzle above in 10 minutes or less? If so, you’re a super solver and are welcome to compete. Tweet your time using #WestchesterSmart

How to Solve:

(To practice on unlimited, free puzzles of all difficulty levels, visit

1. Fill in each square with a single number, without repeating any number in a given row or column. For a 5x5 puzzle, use the numbers 1 - 5.  For the 6x6 puzzle, use the numbers 1 - 6.

2. The heavily outlined areas are called "cages." Each cage has a target number and an operation.

3. The numbers in each cage must combine (in any order) to produce the target number by using the math operation noted.  For example, in a 5x5 grid, if the target number is 5x and there are 2 squares in the cage, you will fill in the squares with a 1 and a 5 (in either order) since 1x5=5.  If a cage of 2 squares has a target of 3+, then numbers would be 1 and 2 (in any order), since 1+2=3

4. A cage with just one square is called a Freebie.  In a Freebie, just fill in the number you're given.

5. WATCH OUT! You may not repeat a number in the same row or column.  For example, in a 5x5 puzzle, each row and column has to have a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, with no duplication.

6.  Each puzzle has only 1 solution.  

KENKEN® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC, ©2015, KENKEN® Puzzle LLC