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Shikaku (四角に切れ, shikaku ni kire) (also anglicised as Divide by Squares or Divide by Box) is a logic puzzle published by Nikoli. As of 2011, two books consisting entirely of Shikaku puzzles has been published by Nikoli.


The game was invented by Yoshiano Anpuku, a math student at the University of Kyoto, in 1989 and published by Japanese games magazine Nikoli under the name "Shikaku". The puzzle later spread to other publications and has been adapted into video games.[1]


An initial configuration.
A solution.

Shikaku is played on a rectangular grid. Some of the squares in the grid are numbered. The objective is to divide the grid into rectangular and square pieces such that each piece contains exactly one number, and that number represents the area of the rectangle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bellos, Alex (May 23, 2022). "Inside Japan's Cult-Favorite Puzzle Laboratory". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved May 14, 2024.

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