While waiting in the pick up line at school yesterday, I decided to try a new (to me) logic puzzle. I enjoy doing Sudoku so I thought I would give it a try. Futoshiki translates to “inequality”. An inequality in mathematics, according to Wikipedia, is “a statement how the relative size or order of two objects, or about whether they are the same or not”. I should have known to stay away from logic puzzles that uses math signs. It is clearly not my strong point.

A Futoshiki puzzle is made up of 25 squares – 5 across and 5 down. Similar to Sudoku, you need to place numbers 1-5 in each row and column, but not duplicate them. In addition, there are less than and greater than signs placed throughout the puzzle. I thought, “I can do this! This game looks easy!”

So without the benefit of reading any tips, I just started to work on it. The first row was simple. It already contained two numbers and two symbols. I could quickly fill in the other three numbers. I worked on the rest of the puzzle by branching off from there and using the process of elimination to fill in the other spaces.

Everything was going along fine, or so I thought. I worked on it for less than five minutes and had most of the puzzle filled in. When I had 20 of the squares filled in, I noticed my error. I made the mistake early on and that screwed up the whole puzzle.

I later showed my husband the puzzle and he boasted that he could finish it, correctly, in less time. My husband enjoys and excels at math. I am sure he can do better than I did. Okay, Superman, try this link and let me know how you do. I will be going back to Sudoku!

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