A cross-figure (also variously called cross number puzzle or figure logic) is a puzzle similar to a crossword in structure, but with entries which consist of numbers rather than words, with individual digits being entered in the blank cells. The numbers can be clued in various ways:

Cross-figures which use mostly the first type of clue may be used for educational purposes, but most enthusiasts would agree that this clue type should be used rarely, if at all. Without this type a cross-figure may superficially seem to be impossible to solve, since no answer can apparently be filled in until another has first been found, which without the first type of clue appears impossible. However, if a different approach is adopted where, instead of trying to find complete answers (as would be done for a crossword) one gradually narrows down the possibilities for individual cells (or, in some cases, whole answers) then the problem becomes tractable. For example, if 12 across and 7 down both have three digits and the clue for 12 across is "7 down times 2", one can work out that (i) the last digit of 12 across must be even, (ii) the first digit of 7 down must be 1, 2, 3 or 4, and (iii) the first digit of 12 across must be between 2 and 9 inclusive. (It is an implicit rule of cross-figures that numbers cannot start with 0; however, some puzzles explicitly allow this) By continuing to apply this sort of argument, a solution can eventually be found. Another implicit rule of cross-figures is that no two answers should be the same (in cross-figures allowing numbers to start with 0, 0123 and 123 may be considered different.)

A curious feature of cross-figures is that it makes perfect sense for the setter of a puzzle to try to solve it him or herself. Indeed, the setter should ideally do this (without direct reference to the answer) as it is essentially the only way to find out if the puzzle has a single unique solution. Alternatively, there are computer programs available that can be used for this purpose; however, they may not make it clear how difficult the puzzle is.

Given that some basic mathematical knowledge is needed to solve cross-figures, they are much less popular than crosswords. As a result, very few books of them have ever been published. Dell Magazines publishes a magazine called Math Puzzles and Logic Problems six times a year which generally contains as many as a dozen of these puzzles, which they name "Figure Logics". A magazine called Figure it Out, which was dedicated to number puzzles, included some, but it was very short-lived. This also explains why cross-figures have fewer established conventions than crosswords (especially cryptic crosswords). One exception is the use of the semicolon (;) to attach two strings of numbers together, for example 1234;5678 becomes 12345678. Some cross-figures voluntarily ignore this option and other "non-mathematical" approaches (e.g. palindromic numbers and repunits) where same result can be achieved through algebraic means.

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