The Guardian may have done it first in the UK but Gulf News is setting the pace across the UAE.

Tabloid was not only the first publication to bring you Kakuro, a maths puzzle which is sweeping the globe, but it also offered all readers the chance to win a Swiss watch for a correctly-answered game.

And the first winners say they are thrilled with their prizes as well as their daily dose of Kakuro.

Dilbar Narayan was one of the Tabloid’s first lucky winners. She said: “I can easily say that I am addicted to Kakuro.

“For my family it’s a race in the morning to see who can get to the paper first. My daughter who is 14, loves to have a go and she often calls me at work to say she has beaten me to it!

“It is a great way to start the day and gets your mind working. Normally a puzzle, depending on the level, will take me an hour or so to complete.”

Danilo Laplana, 56, has lived in Dubai for nine years and says he has never looked forward to getting the Tabloid so much before.

“I get really excited about doing the puzzle. It’s a real challenge and I love the moment the paper is delivered. It is also a huge bonus to actually win a prize for doing a puzzle I enjoy doing so much.”

Sarah Lambie, who lives in Dubai with her husband, was also another lucky Tabloid winner. She said: “I have been doing the Kakuro puzzle religiously since the day Tabloid started printed them.

“I used to do the Sudoku puzzles but they became a little easy after a while. The Kakuro grids are much more of a challenge and I get much more from them.

“A cup of coffee and a Kakuro is the perfect way to start any day.”

Lakshya Madhok said he was pleased he had won.

What’s Kakuro?

  • Kakuro follows on the success of Sudoku, a puzzle game of logic played on a numbers grid that was such a big hit this summer.
  • Kakuro is only slightly more difficult. Or so we’re told! Kakuro already is popular in Japan and the United Kingdom, and is rapidly taking the world by storm.
  • Kakuro is a puzzle that has been compared by many to Sudoku because a number can only appear once in a row or column.
  • Kakuro has been compared to a numerical crossword. The grids used in Kakuro can come in virtually any size, from simple, small grids to dauntingly large ones.
  • The rules of Kakuro are simple: for each row and column of the puzzle, you are given a number, for instance 10.
  • The total of the digits in each cell in that row or column must then sum (add up) to that number. Only 1 — 9 may be used in standard Kakuro puzzles. For instance, if a row of two squares sums to 3, then the valid combinations are only 1, 3 or 3, 1. 3, 0 is not valid as you can only use 1 - 9, and neither is 2 - 2, as each integer can only appear once per row / column.
  • If you feel ready and raring to go, and want to play a Kakuro puzzle right now, then feel free to try out our starter puzzle.

Its beginning

  • Kakuro actually has its origins in the US. Dell Magazines published the first kakuro-like puzzles under the name of Cross Sums in the early 1950s.
  • Puzzle fanatics are familiar with Cross Sums, but it wasn’t until the brainteasers became popular in Japan several years ago that the craze took off.
  • Newspapers in the UK began feeding the frenzy by publishing the puzzles, but changed the name to Kakuro instead of using kakro, the Japanese name.
  • Experts say that Kakuro is now more popular in Japan and the UK than Sudoku.
  • Kakuro is a popular game of logic and numbers. Similar to Sudoku, it is all about numbers, but it does require some mathematical reasoning.
  • However, if you are able to add up small numbers, then you are able to play Kakuro.
  • A Kakuro grid looks at first glance a little like a crossword grid. The big difference is that, with a Kakuro grid, the numbers indicate the sum of all the individual cells in that row or column.
  • There are many theories surrounding the history of Kakuro — but none seem set in stone.
  • Kakuro is believed to have originated in the 1960s, and appeared in American games magazines during that time.
  • The word Kakuro comes from the Japanese Kasan Kuroso, combining the words “addition” and “across”, believed to have been created by Japanese businessman McKee Kaji.