As other questions of mine mentioned, I have been slowly working through some PDF puzzle books. I will shortly come up on Kakuro puzzles. Here is an example from the Wikipedia article:

blank puzzle puzzle with solution

The parts where I enter solution-numbers into the grid are not a problem. Shading in entire cells is also simple. But, how can I do the half-cell triangles with either numbers or shading? Triangle shading is optional - if I can at least figure out some way to put in triangle numbers, I could enter some placeholder into the other part of the cell. Note that in all cases the same diagonal is used, so you do not have to worry about being flexible on which half-cell triangles are displayed.

Google Sheets is non-negotiable. I am not willing to use an inserted drawing, as suggested by a comment to the previous question. Within these constraints, how do I transcribe a Kakuro into a Google Sheets as simply as possible? Solutions which take up less cells of of the underlying Google Sheets are preferred.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this just for the purposes of solving, or do you want it to try to look as close to the above as possible? Could you just enter something like 15 \ 29 into the cell? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ Just for the purposes of solving. I guess I could do 15 \ 29, like the answer below $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Jan 29 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


Kakuro is still clear if the cells with the number clues had a black instead of a white background. In fact, many puzzles use a black background and it just happens that the one you shared has a white background. So, the triangle shading is unnecessary.

I will use the same example Kakuro which you shared and demonstrate how I would do it below.

Step 1

Resize the rows and columns into squares. Also, select all the cells and apply some styles that will be useful later:

  1. Select a larger font size (it will be for the numbers that will fill up and solve the puzzle, e.g., 40).
  2. Select a suitable font. (In my experience, Merriweather looks pretty good. I also apply Bold and a non-black color like blue.)
  3. Add borders around the cells that will make up the puzzle grid.
  4. Apply horizontal and vertical align.

Screenshot 1

Step 2

Apply the following styles to all cells that are black in the puzzle or that have number clues:

  1. Black fill color
  2. Smaller font size (e.g., 15)
  3. White font color

(A fast way to do this is to apply these styles to one cell and then copy the cell to all needed cells.)

Screenshot 2

Step 3

Fill in the number clues. Do not use a backslash as the separator but instead use the character (U+2572). (Note that I have chosen the font Merriweather Bold because it aligns well with this character.)

Screenshot 3

  • $\begingroup$ What I would have done differently would be to use the Control-Enter shortcut to insert line breaks within a cell (in addition to spaces) in order to format the multi-clue cells such that the row clue is in the top-right corner and the column clue in the bottom left. The single-clue cells can be formatted using the usual Format->Alignment options. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @codewarrior0 I tried to do it but it's not straightforward as the character is in the same cell. It is doable (the character would be in the bottom line), but it's not worth the effort for me as one would need to insert the right number of spaces for every cell depending on the number of digits. $\endgroup$
    – hb20007
    Commented Jan 29 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Another option is to use the | character as the separator, and then use the Format->Rotation option to put the text at a 45 degree slant ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @codewarrior0 Tried it but it seems that the black fill gets rotated as well and ends up covering the top left half of the adjacent cell (which needs to be white). $\endgroup$
    – hb20007
    Commented Jan 29 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ That's a strange interaction between cell borders and rotation formatting! Try setting the border color to red to see what's happening. I've never seen that before, but after playing around with it I managed to get a half shaded cell... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29 at 19:26

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