Sudoku

An Introduction To  Puzzles
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Sudoku is a number placement puzzle that  requires logic, skills and patience. 

It is  puzzle craze that is played around the world.

Have you ever played with a Rubik's Cube? 

You may have mastered 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.

Typical Sudoku Puzzle

How to 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 in 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 Squares.

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 once in each small 3 x 3 grid.  

Mathematically, Sudoku puzzles are a derivative 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, letters, or symbols.





Each symbol can only appear  exactly once in each row 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 amount of numbers given initially in  the 9 x 9 matrix varies. 

One would think that the more numbers you are given initially, the easier the  puzzle would be to solve. 

This is not always the case because the "placement" of the numbers has a  profound effect on 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 Magazine Math  Puzzles and Logic Problems.





How to  solve Sudoku?

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  "1" while still adhering to the rules. 

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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 particular 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. 

The beauty of the game is that there are a great number of Sudoku puzzles to solve. 

Time  yourself. Many puzzle solvers can finish a puzzle in 10 to 30 minutes. 

Get out your stopwatch and see  how fast you can solve a Sudoku puzzle.





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