Str8ts is an addictive puzzle that uses sequences as the primary game mechanics.
It is a standalone puzzle that isn't a Sudoku variant!
Str8ts was invented by Canadian puzzle designer Jeff Widderich in 2007.
He approached Andrew Stuart, a UK-based puzzle maker and programmer, to make the puzzle.
The first puzzle was presented at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February 2008.
Str8ts is immensely popular in the German speaking world. The puzzle has appeared in Süddeutsche Zeitung since March 2010, and in the Saturday edition of Die Rheinpfalz since August 2010.
An iPhone app was released in July 2009, containing hundreds of puzzles in four difficulty levels.
Widderich appeared with the puzzle in the fifth season of the Canadian television show, Dragons' Den, on November 24, 2010, successfully convincing three of the panelists.
Syndicated Puzzles is thrilled that The Daily Star is helping spread Str8ts in Lebanon and surrounding countries.
HOW TO PLAY STR8TS
To complete a str8ts puzzle you have to work with 'compartments'. In the diagram to the left is a completed puzzle. Highlighted are two example compartments, a vertical one in yellow and a horizontal one in blue. You will instantly see that they have a set of numbers with no gaps. The yellow is [4,3,2,5] for example. The whole board is made of compartments divided by the black cells.
When you place a number you will have to think carefully - is the number unique in each row and column? And does it help form a straight - both vertically and horizontally.
I'll give you some easy starting strategies. Look for the smallest compartments first, ones with two squares perhaps. If they contain a 1 the you know the next number must be 2. The same with a 9. It must be adjacent to an 8.
If you have a white number in a black cell, that means you can't use that number in that row and column - but they are useful. They tell you your straights must avoid those numbers. If you look at the example solution you'll see how those clues are not part of any straight.
There's lots of tricks and ways to solve Str8ts. If you want to delve deeper, have a look at some strategy pages here.