The Name of the Game
What's in a name? Traditionally, puzzle names are informative: crossword, codeword, wordsearch, spot the difference. In each case, it is clear what has to be done. You may be surprised to learn that the derivation of Kakuro follows the same path.
Kakuro first featured in an American crossword puzzle magazine in the 1950s, under the self-explanatory name, Cross Sum. It was marginally successful but, in the early 1980s, a Japanese puzzle publisher realised that a few tweaks to the puzzle and its name could make all the difference.
Nikoli re-released the puzzle in their Japanese puzzle magazines under the new name Kasan Kurosu (meaning 'cross added' in Japanese). The puzzle became Japan's most popular puzzle BS (ie Before Sudoku) and later, with a slightly abbreviated name, Kakuro puzzles travelled the world.
While it is true that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, I prefer the enigmatic sophistication of Kakuro to the rather prosaic Cross Sums… but the opposite might be true for Japanese solvers.