It seems that these days everyone is enjoying the game of Sudoko wherever they are. The Sudoku puzzle is ideal for whenever you have a few spare minutes and want to indulge in a little bit of thinking power. Sudoku, sometimes spelled “Su Doku”, is a puzzle that originated
in Japan. The puzzle is known as a “placement” puzzle. In the United States Sudoku is sometimes called the “Number Place” puzzle.
People of all ages and from all backgrounds are finding that Sudoku is a great way to keep their mind active and thinking. Puzzles range all the way from easy for the beginner to extremely difficult for the more advanced puzzler. Sudoku is easy to take with you wherever you go so that you can indulge in a little bit of number guessing whenever you have a few spare minutes.
Sudoku is easy to learn and understand. The main aim of Sudoku is to enter a number from one to nine into each cell on puzzle grid. The most frequent layout of a Sudoku puzzle is a 9 x 9 grid that is made of subgrids that are 3 x 3. Each of these subgrids is known as a “region”.
Depending on how easy or hard the puzzle is there will be various starting numbers in the cells. These are known as
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the “givens”. Every row, column, and region of the Sudoku puzzle can contain only one instance of each number. You complete the puzzle when all of the cells have been filled in with corresponding numbers.
To complete the Sudoku puzzle requires a lot of patience as well as the ability to think logically. The basic layout of the Sudoku grid is much like a chess game or crossword
puzzles. Sudoku is not just a mathematical or arithmetic type of puzzle. It works just as well if the numbers are substituted with letters or other symbols. However, numbers work best.
The bottom line is that Sudoku is a fascinating new puzzle game that has taken the world by surprise and storm. You can now find Sudoku in many national newspapers. The great thing about this puzzle is that the basic principle of solving it is really quite simple. All you need
to do is fill in the grid in such a way that each row, column, and region contains the numbers one to nine.
HISTORY OF SUDUKO
You would imagine that with such a name this puzzle originated in Japan, but it has been around for many years in the United States and in the UK. However, the Japanese found an example under the title “Number Place’ in an American magazine and translated it as
something quite different: su meaning number and doku meaning single unit. It immediately caught on in Japan where number puzzles were much more prevalent than word puzzles. Crosswords don’t work very well in the Japanese language.
Sukoku was first published in the late 1970’s in North America in New York by the publisher “Dell Magazines”. Dell was known as a specialist when it game to puzzles of logic and ability. Dell published Sudoku as “Number Place” in its Math Puzzles and Logic Problems magazine.
It has not been recorded who designed the Americanized puzzle but suspicion falls on Walter Mackey who was one of Dell’s constructors of puzzles. In Japan, Sudoku was first introduced by Nikoli in 1984. The puzzle appeared in the Monthly Nikolist in April as “Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru”. This can be translated to “the numbers must be there in only on instance”. In 1986 Nikoli introduced two
different versions of Sudoku as the popularity of the puzzle increased. No more than 30 “givens” were allowed that the grid became symmetrical. Sudoku is now published in many mainstream Japanese periodicals, including the Asahi Shimbun. The trademark name of
Sudoku is still held by Nikoli while other publications in Japan use other names.
Sudoku quickly spread to the computer. In 1989 DigitHunt was created for the Commodore 64 by a company called Loadstar/Softdisk Publishing. This home computer version of Sudoku allowed people of all ages to enjoy the game in a computerized style.
Sudoku is now published in a variety of places including the New York Post and USA Today. The puzzle is also reprinted by Kappa in GAMES magazine. Many times you will find Sudoku included in puzzle anthologies which include The Giant 1001 Puzzle Book. In these books
Sudoku is usually titled something like “Nine Numbers”. Surprisingly Dell, who invented the Americanized version of the puzzle, has failed to cash in on this big puzzle rage.
The Sudoku puzzle reached craze status in Japan in 2004 and the craze spread to the United States and the UK through pages of national newspapers. The Daily Telegraph uses the name “Sudoku” but you may the puzzle called “su doku” in other places. However, there is no doubt that the word has been adopted into modern parlance, much like the word “crossword”.