The New York Times has two daily KenKen puzzles: a 4×4 and a 6×6. After having done them for many months, I can always do the smaller one in my head. For the larger one, I need to use a pen, except on Monday, which is the easiest day.

It occurred to me recently that the 4×4 KenKen puzzle would make an excellent plot point for a spy novel. Every morning, our intrepid secret agent would open up the daily newspaper, solve the 4×4 KenKen in his or her head, and then use the order of the four numbers first row as a one time code. Because the code would change every day, the enemy would never be able to figure out the pattern.

Unless, of course, the enemy were to read this blog entry. So in a sense, just by writing this, I have potentially ruined an entire method of subterfuge for any would-be spy.

But I’m ok with that. After all, you get certain privileges when a puzzle is named after you. 😉

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