February 2011 Teacher's Guide Table of Contents


ChemMatters Puzzle: Chemical Ken-Ken



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ChemMatters Puzzle: Chemical Ken-Ken

Like its big brother SUDOKU, KEN-KEN is a logic game from Japan. In the left-side grid shown, you’re objective is to fill the digits 1-4 in so that each appears exactly once in each row and each column. Notice that most boxes are part of a cluster. In the upper-right corner of each cluster is a value that is the SUM of its numbers. For example, if that value is 3 for a two-box cluster, you know that a 1 and 2 go in there. But it’s your job to determine which goes where! A few clusters may have just one box, and that is the digit that fills that box.

We’ll help you solve this warm-up puzzle. Cover up our completed version to try it on your own!

WARM-UP PUZZLE ITS SOLUTION
A B C D

1




5

7

8




2

5

3

7

4

8

1

2




3







1

3 2

3

4

3

11


1

3




11 4

1 1

3 2

3

4











2

3

4

1

2 2

(1) The single-box cluster at D4 must contain a 2. Where is the other such cluster, and what digit goes in there ?



  1. The three boxes in the upper right corner total 8. There are just three ways to achieve that: 134, 224,and 332, (in any order). But since you can’t repeat a number in column four, two possibilities are eliminated! Such number logic will also let you set the bottom left-hand corner cluster of three boxes. Try it !

  2. Once three digits are in place in any row or column, the fourth must follow.

It likely will not take you long to complete the puzzle.
Now for Chemical Ken-Ken. This time, it is a 5x5 grid, which makes it a bit harder. And this time, the given values are obtained by multiplying, not adding. For example, a three-box cluster containing 3, 3, and 5 would show a value of 45.

(By the way, note that that set of factors is the only way to get a three box cluster to have 45 as a value !)

In this blank grid we represent the value with a letter. Below the grid is a group of clues from the world of chemistry. As you decipher each clue, transfer that value to the grid, and then proceed as above. If “(Z)” appears at end of clue, enter that element’s atomic number. To help get started, the two single box clusters values are given directly.


a

2

b




c




d







e













f






g

1

h




i




j





The clues:


  1. The atomic number of PHOSPHOROUS.

  2. Smallest of the noble gases. (Z)

  3. This metal’s carbonate salt has a molmass of 100 amus. (Z)
  4. The size of the charge of the STANNIC ion.


  5. This metal burns with a brilliant white light, so sometimes is used in flares. (Z)

  6. The metal used to galvanize iron. (Z)

  7. Its electron configuration is [Kr] 5s2 4d2 . (Z)

  8. This alkali metal has the strongest drive to be oxidized, measured by Eox values. (Z)

  9. The number of neutrons in the 1+ ion of Na-23 . (Z)

  10. This elemental gas glows bright red when shocked. (Z)


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