I'm currently stuck on this puzzle from Simon Tatham's website (he calls it "Unequal", although the standard name according to Wikipedia is Futoshiki). My progress so far is:

partially solved grid

I've even tried a few "what if" conditions (assuming another cell is filled in a particular way, and seeing what can be deduced from there), but I haven't managed to deduce enough to fill in any more cells for sure. What am I missing?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Would it be a good idea to briefly explain the rules of Futoshiki here? $\endgroup$
    – Brandon_J
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J I included links to two sources which explain the rules, and anyway the question is unlikely to be solved by anyone not already familiar with the rules. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's a good point. $\endgroup$
    – Brandon_J
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


Look at the second column and try to place the 6.

Row 1/4 - cannot be 6 since row already has a 6.
Row 1/3/5/6 - cannot be 6 since number must be less than another digit.
Therefore, 6 must go in row 2.

This leads to some immediate deductions in the right-most column, and the whole solution follows by the usual rules of the puzzle.

If you still want to solve the puzzle yourself, do not view the next spoiler!

The final grid should look like this:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I checked your first spoiler and then managed to solve the rest. Annoying how simple it seems now ... just something I hadn't checked properly in what I'd thought was a thorough scan. (It would have worked even before placing the top 6, which was the last number I put in before getting stuck.) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor No worries :) Futoshiki can do that to you! I often think the difficulty in this puzzle type really comes from the vast amount of white space in front of you - with something like a Sudoku you normally have more numbers in other squares to help you make the right logical leaps - when you're relying on the symbols between the number squares it's somehow much harder to process what you're seeing, because you're really not seeing very much! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 16:19

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