By Steve Hall
Have you ever played with a Rubik's Cube? You may have
the Rubik's cube and are looking for a greater challenge. Try
the puzzle game called Sudoku. Sudoku is a number placement
puzzle that requires logic skills and patience. It is a
fantastic puzzle game that can be found in newspapers, books
and on puzzles and games websites.
How do you play Sudoku
The Sudoku puzzle consists of a series of grids. The grids
include one large 9 x 9 grid that houses, nine 3 x 3 smaller
grids. The purpose of the game is to place a number from 1-9
each of the grid cells. You don't have to worry about finding
the sum of the numbers of the rows, columns, like in Magic
No addition is involved; however there are three conditions
that rely on each other and must be followed. Each number 1-9
can appear only once in each column, once in each row, and
in each small 3 x 3 grid. Mathematically, Sudoku puzzles are a
derivation of Latin Squares.
The famous mathematician Leonard Euler created Latin Squares.
They are a prevalent part of discrete math. Basically, a Latin
Square consists of an n x n table filled with numbers,
or symbols. Each symbol can only appear exactly once in each
and exactly once in each column. Sudoku puzzles take the Latin
Square one step further with the 3 x 3 smaller grid
constraints. The fact that you have to make sure that each
small 3 x 3 grid contains each number 1-9 only once
significantly increases the complexity of the puzzle.
Sudoku puzzles come in varying levels of difficulty. The
of numbers given initially in the 9 x 9 matrix varies. One
think that the more numbers you are given initially, the
the puzzle would be to solve. This is not always the case
because the "placement" of the numbers has a profound effect
the complexity of the puzzle.
Where did Sudoku puzzles originate?
Sudoku is the Japanese word for "placement puzzle". Sudoku
swept Japan in the mid-1980's. Before that, however, a puzzle
constructor in the United States named Howard Garnes created
the first puzzle of this type in 1979. It was called "Number
Place" instead of Sudoku. It was published in the Dell
Math Puzzles and Logic Problems.
How do you solve a Sudoku puzzle?
Good question! The key is to have patience and use your logic
skills. Don't just use a trial and error method. Many players
construct their own puzzle solving techniques and methods,
which they share in Sudoku player online forums.
You can start anywhere in the puzzle, but as a beginner start
by focusing on the top three smaller 3 x 3 grids. Look at the
initial numbers and start with the number "1". Check to see if
a "1" appears in the other two smaller 3 x 3 grids. Then find
cells in these smaller grids where you can possibly place a
while still adhering to the rules. You will also need to take
into consideration 3 x 3 grids that are attached to the given
grid. It is like dancing on eggshells, but the key is to look
for patterns. Logically, you need to prove why a number should
go in a certain cell.
Sudoku is a clever puzzle game that will sometimes make you
feel like you are going around in circles. However, practicing
on different puzzles will help you to understand certain
techniques that work and those that lead you to a dead end.
beauty of the game is that there are a great number of Sudoku
puzzles to solve. Time yourself. Many puzzle solvers can
a puzzle in 10 to 30 minutes. Get out your stopwatch and see
fast you can solve a Sudoku puzzle.
About The Author: Steve is a member of the GrandMatrix team.
They provide a broad range of games and puzzle articles and
reviews. Read more articles, download and play the latest PC
games for free plus enjoy thousands of user submitted puzzles,
quizzes and word games at: www.grandmatrix.com