Kakuro plagiarism?

Have you tried Kakuro? If you find Sudoku too easy, Kakuro is an excellent way to amp up the difficulty factor. I get my daily dose from the Washington post, and occasionally from Kakuro.com. But this morning I noticed something funny about the instructions. Here’s the text from Kakuro.com:

Kakuro puzzles resemble cross-words with numbers; you have ‘across’ and ‘down’ clues, but instead of filling in letters, you must use the numbers 1-9.

The aim of the game is to fill each blank square with a number from 1 to 9 to sum up to the clue associated with it. However, no number can be duplicated in an entry. For example a clue of 8 (over 2 squares) could be 1&7, 3&5, but not 4&4.

Now here’s the description from the Washington Post:

A kakuro puzzle is a crossword which uses numbers. The “clues” are in the small triangles. The answers contain the numbers 1 through 9.

The numbers in the answer must add up to the clue. However, no number can be duplicated in an answer. Hence, a clue of 6 (over 2 squares) could have a solution of 2+4 or 1+5, but not 3+3. Good luck!

Perhaps there’s just a limited number of ways to actually describe a Kakuro game, but the structural similarities between these two entries are striking. It really looks to me like a case of a student “changing enough words” so it’s “not plagiarism” anymore.

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