Friday, December 09, 2005

Do you..Sudoku?

Perhaps I’m coming late to the party, but a few months ago I got turned onto a different kind of puzzle: Sudoku. It was first created in 1979 by Howard Garns and published by Dell Magazines as Number Place. Not until it was published by the Japanese puzzle company Nikoli did it achieve any great popularity.

It was Nikoli Co. that gave the puzzle its best known name. Sudoku is an abbreviation of the Japanese phrase “suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, and can be roughly translated as “single number”. It is also sometimes known by the name Nanpure—Japanese for “number place”.

A Sudoku square is divided into 9 regions, with some squares already filled with numbers. To solve the puzzle, you must fill in all of the empty squares with the numbers 1 to 9—each number used only once within each row, column and region.

For me the attraction of this sort of puzzle is that it is entirely logic based. Each puzzle, with its set of givens, has a unique solution. Unlike crossword puzzles, Sudoku does not rely on a memory for trivia—just a logical and methodical mind. From the puzzle’s simple rules a complex and engrossing game emerges.

For anyone old hands as well as new, here’s a couple of links where you can do Sudoku online:



Anonymous KristinW said...

There are better sites than that web sudoku one.

For instance, Fiendish Sudoku has new puzzles every day at five difficulty levels. The puzzle layouts are hand-made, not computer-generated random. The site can provide hints and step-by-step solutions, as well as Undo and several printing options.

Worth a look!

- KristinW

9:17 PM  

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