Review of Mystery Grid by SolveMe.EDC

If you are familiar with KenKen puzzles, then you will enjoy the Mystery Grid puzzles which can be found at  https://solveme.edc.org/mysterygrid/

Detailed instructions on how to use these puzzles can be found by clicking on the ? on the home page.

To access the puzzles, click on ‘play’, then you will be able to access 200 puzzles: 60 Explorer; 60 Puzzler; and 80 Master puzzles.

For each nxn puzzle, you will get n copies of n different numbers. These have to be placed in the cells so that each row and column only contain one of each number and each ‘cage’ of cells satisfy the operation attached to it. For example, in this puzzle:

…the top two cells of the leftmost column have ‘9+’ attached to it which means that these two cells have to add to 9. Likewise the middle two cells of the rightmost column have ’10+’ so these two cells have to add to 10. The middle two cells of the third column are separated by a ‘>’ symbol so the upper cell has to be greater than the lower cell. Finally, there are four individual cells with a single number in. These can be filled straight away with the corresponding numbers (simply drag the coloured number tiles to the correct cells):

A bit of thought allows you to fill in the left and right columns:

The top and third rows have one missing number which can be filled in accordingly:

And a bit of thinking will lead to the complete solution:

A useful tool that students can use is the pen tool at the bottom of the screen. This will allow them to annotate possible numbers for a particular cage of cells.

More difficult puzzles involve integers, fractions and algebraic terms:

You can also build your own puzzles by clicking on the ‘build’ option on the home page. This allows you to choose a set of tiles to work with:

Clicking on ‘Next’ and then ‘Fill’ will create a template like so:

From here you can create your own cages of cells and choose the operations as necessary:

Now you can click on ‘Save’ and this will save the puzzle to your account (if you have created one) or to the device that is being used:

Teachers might like to use SolveMe Mystery Grids to create their own puzzles that might then be used as a warm up for a class. Alternatively, students could work on these independently on tablets or computers.