Monster Sudoku

Announcing the Monster FirstScience.com Sudoku Challenge!

You think filling the numbers 1 to 9 into a 9 x 9 grid is not enough? Well, check out the Monster Sudoku Challenge at FirstScience.com. This beauty is a 25 x 25 grid, and instead of using numbers it uses almost every letter of the alphabet (a – y… No Zzzzzz’s allowed because this column is too much fun to be sleeping through it!).

Enjoy, Tim

 

Puzzler offers addicts seven different challenges on new website

Puzzle publisher, Puzzler Media, has launched an interactive site to cater for fans of seven different puzzle types.

The site boasts more than 12 new posers each day and fans who register for a Puzzle Pass can access content on a subscription basis from £1 for one day to £14.99 for a year.

The site features puzzles from crazes like Sudoku and Hanjie as well as traditional language-based challenges, such as crosswords, word searches, kriss kross, logic puzzles and code crackers.

Neil O’Brien, Puzzler Media’s business development director, said: “Puzzler.co.uk is a crucial element in our overall strategy to deliver puzzle content for all key interactive formats. Whether it’s on mobiles, on interactive TV, in print or on the web, we want to make sure that puzzlers can access content in the way they find most convenient.”

More from Digital Bulletin

 

Too good for Fiendish? Then try Killer Su Doku

The latest twist on Sudoku has come out Japan, called Killer Sudoku.

While it has the same rules (numbers 1 to 9 in each row, column and square), you don’t get any numbers to start with. And this one requires math!

Instead, what you get are dotted lines with numbers in the top left hand corner – the idea is that all of the cells within the dotted line must add up to the number in the top left hand corner.

Hint: Try to identify the groups of cells where you need to either start from the lowest numbers or from the highest numbers to add up to the correct number.

For example, if two cells are joined with the number ’3′ in the corner, then they must consist of ’1′ and ’2′. Or if three cells are joined with the number ’6′, then they must contain ’1′, ’2′ and ’3′. Or at the ‘high’ end of the scale, if two cells are joined with the number ’17′, then they must contain ’9′ and ’8′, and so on.

Of course, exactly where the numbers go within the dotted lines is up to you to figure out!

The creator of Killer Sudoku (or Killer Su Doku) is Tetsuya Nishio, the undisputed grand “puzzle master” of Su Doku: a bespectacled fiend from the darkest suburbs of Tokyo who spends his every waking hour devising abominable new ways to torture our brain cells.

“Of course I have recently read in the Japanese press about the extraordinary Su Doku boom in the UK and I was very happy to see it happening,” says the puzzle master, “but Britain has not had the puzzles for long enough to become fully used to their complexities. This new variation will be a dreadful challenge for you.”

See how you go with the puzzles in the Times Online.

Then get your daily fix at DJApe.net.

Enjoy,
Tim

 

GadgetryBlog: Carol Vorderman’s Touch Screen Sudoku

Check out this review of Carol Vorderman’s Touch Screen Sudoku.

It is a handheld electronic game where you ‘tap’ on the screen with the supplied stylus (like a pen that doesn’t work on paper!).

More from GadgetryBlog

 

Welsh student crowned British Sudoku champion

An 18-year-old Welsh maths student who has been crowned Britain’s finest exponent of Sudoku.

Nina Pell, from Monmouth, who is a first-year student at Sheffield University, solved what was thought to be the hardest version of the puzzle ever published in the UK in just 13 minutes and 48 seconds.

More from icWales

 

Burlington Puzzle Museum caters to Sudoku nuts

Check out the Burlington Beat for details about Burlington’s Logic Puzzle Museum.

Judith Schulz runs the museum and is offering the one-hour workshops. There are still spaces available for the 6 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Saturday sessions. To register, call (262) 763-3946. There is a $5 charge for the class.

 

Sudoku fans say there is no mystery to their addiction

No one even knew what Sudoku was a few months ago, let alone how to pronounce it.

Now, more than a few people are addicted to figuring out these number puzzles.

Just ask Mary Jane Jones of Tuscola about her husband’s Sudoku addiction.

‘You can tell he is retired,’ she said and laughed about how her husband does the Sudoku puzzles every day.

Stephanie Idle, a special education teacher at Mount Zion Intermediate School, likes new challenges.

“I love the game. It is addicting,” said Idle, who often works the puzzle with her daughters, ages 14 and 16. They often compete with each other to see who can finish it the fastest.

The puzzle is basically troubleshooting, problem solving and doesn’t require a vocabulary like crossword puzzles do, Idle said. She admits her strategy is going down each column and row, checking what numbers are the same and filling in the blank boxes without repeating the same numbers.

“Sounds easy, but it does become a process of elimination,” she said.

But now Idle has introduced the puzzle to her fourth- and fifth-grade students who have learning disabilities.

She went to www.edhelper.com on the Internet to find easier Sudoku puzzles to pass out to them.

“It doesn’t require reading, it doesn’t require any math. And I’m so proud of my students for being able to get the puzzle done,” she said excitedly and is even planning to make the puzzles part of her classroom curriculum.

More from Herald & Review

 

Mastiff Announces Sudoku for Game Boy Advance

Video game publisher Mastiff announced today that they will publish Sudoku for the Game Boy Advance handheld video game system, the first of a series of Sudoku products that Mastiff will be bringing to game systems.

The Sudoku video game features hundreds of puzzle problems, a tutorial mode, help for those moments when you really are stuck, the ability to ‘pencil in’ possible solutions, and a puzzle problem creation mode. The game is expected to be available February 10, 2006.

More…

 

Women leave men trailing at the inaugural British championship

For the archetypal puzzle-solving, pen-sucking, mildly obsessive but essentially minding-his-own business British male (pipe optional, nerdish streak compulsory), it was an arresting moment. Women not only triumphed at the weekend’s first Times National Su Doku Championship, they ruled the roost.

It has long been one of the quiet little (guilty?) secrets of the Su Doku phenomenon that there are as many women addicts and dabblers as men. What was not clear, until the weekend, though, was the clear superiority of women over men.

More from The Times Online

Note – Subscribers to The Sudoku Daily Challenge (scroll to the top right hand corner to sign up) are fairly well represented between males and females, with just a few more being female than male.

Enjoy – Tim

 

Su Doku children make light work of ‘fiendish’ grids

Geographical remoteness proved no obstacle for child competitors at the first Times National Su Doku Championships on Sunday.

One contestant cut short a school trip to Venice to travel to Cheltenham, while another undertook an eight-hour journey from his home in Aberdeen.

Many of the 85 children, aged 6 to 16, who took part in the competition at Cheltenham Ladies’ College also accused the judges of setting puzzles that were too easy.

The 12-16 age group sat a difficult grid, while the younger children were given a moderate one. Most were disappointed at not being faced with the challenge of a fiendish grid.

Francesca Nichol, 15, from Glastonbury, Somerset, who came second in the 12-16 age group, spoke for them all when she said: “It was too easy, far too easy. You must make it harder next time.”

More in The Times Online

 

Experience The Mind Challenge Of The Year With PC Sudoku

GamesIndustry.biz – Experience The Mind Challenge Of The Year With PC Sudoku: “On Games and Sherwood Media are finalizing the European release of PC Sudoku, the ultimate PC port of the successful Puzzle Game, at 9.95 euro.”

More…

 

Resco Sudoku for Pocket PC

Check out this review of Resco Sudoku by Dave’s iPAQ.

“A new game has been released by Resco and it is very cool! RESCO Sudoku has several levels of play, skinable and has a Puzzle solver….but what is even better is that there are FREE lifetime upgrades. ”

Enjoy, Tim

 

Six-letter Word for $$$? Sudoku!

People the world over are furrowing their brows over Sudoku. The game that has had Britain in its grip for the past year now appears in most major American newspapers and has spawned bestselling books, a TV show, computer programs, tournaments, and countless addictions. Not since the Rubik’s Cube pandemic of 1980 or the crossword craze of 1924-25 has a puzzle generated this much madness – and unbridled commerce.

“The craze, judging by history, will last four, five, six months, and then it will taper off,” says Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword and high priest of puzzling. “But I think the underlying appeal of Sudoku will make it last forever. It’s not just hype. If you do the puzzle, it’s very easy to get hooked.”

More from Fortune

 

Sudoku craze ‘could revive interest in mathematics’

The Sudoku craze could spur renewed interest among young people in mathematics, according to the nation’s top mathematician.

Poor numeracy, the parlous state of mathematics education and lack of suitably-qualified teachers have concerned many great minds including that of Sir Michael Atiyah, the winner of the Abel Prize, mathematics’ equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Although Sudoku is a far cry from Sir Michael’s work on the ‘Atiyah-Singer index theorem’, one of the great landmarks of 20th century mathematics, he believes that the puzzle could kindle more interest in the subject among young people.

‘All kinds of mathematical games are a good thing,’ said Sir Michael, who was speaking to mark his appointment today as the new President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

From The Telegraph

 

Sudoku Puzzle Trend Sweeping Chicago

From trains and planes to coffee shops, people are playing Sudoku. It’s a logic puzzle that took Asia and Europe by storm.

Now, Chicagoans are asking, ‘Can you Sudoku?’

Take a nine-by-nine grid, throw in several given numbers — and you’ve got Sudoku.

‘I got hooked on it cause my mom got hooked on it,’ one loyal player said.

The rules are each column, row and three-by-three box must contain the numbers one to nine only once.

‘It’s not a math puzzle, it’s a logic puzzle,’ another player explained.

It’s a kind of logic that drives some to distraction.

More at NBC5.com.

 

Sudoku named word of the year

Sudoku, the name of the Japanese logic puzzle that has taken Britain by storm — has been named ‘word of the year’ by the Language Report published Wednesday.

Author Susie Dent said sudoku ‘burst onto the scene’ in a fraction of the time it would have taken a new word to establish itself even 10 years ago, indicating a shift in the now multicultural English language.

Dent said language gives insight into popular social preoccupations of the time — including sudoku — and allows for historical comparisons to be made in leisurely pursuits by studying linguistic novelties.

From The Japan Times Online

 

Popular Sudoku Grids for your Mobile

If your mobile phone can surf the web, then you can get puzzles for FREE from the good folks at sudokusolver.co.uk.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Word to the wise: pencils.

On Monday, a Google search for “sudoku” turned up 10 million hits. On Tuesday, the number jumped to 10.3 million. Sudoku, it appears, is an honest-to-gosh phenomenon. And its days do not appear to be numbered.

In September the puzzles made publishing history, cracking national bestseller lists with three sound-alike titles: ‘The Book of Sudoku’ (Overlook Press, $9.95), ‘Sudoku Easy to Hard’ (St. Martin’s Press $6.95) and the inevitable ‘Su Doku for Dummies’ (Wiley, $9.99).

This is no mean feat in the publishing world, especially since two of those books consist of pages with nothing on them but boxes and numbers. But such is the appeal of sudoku, a wildly popular pastime that may singlehandedly bring back the pencil.

Sudoku also may bring back something called logic, because it requires players to think in two directions at once and make Sherlock Holmesian deductions based on the process of elimination.

Word to the wise: pencils.

More from the North Jersey Media Group

 

Sudoku ku-ku

I guess it’s fair to say that not everyone shares our love of Sudoku.

Check out these comments by Chris Harris from the Los Angeles Times

“The word ‘Sudoku’ comes from the Japanese words ‘sudo,’ meaning ‘a 9-by-9 grid,’ and ‘ku,’ meaning ‘one must complete so that each row, column and subgroup of 3-by-3 squares contains exactly one of each digit from 1 through 9 in it.’

If you succeed in this task, you are rewarded with a hollow, vaguely dissatisfied feeling about the way you’ve just spent your time.”

Ah well, each to their own! Now gimme another puzzle…. :-)

Tim

 

Teen’s Su Ready

Like all New Yorkers, Jennifer Drenzyk loves a good challenge and plays to win. That’s why the plucky Hunter College freshman is totally psyched to be playing for cash and prizes worth a whopping $10,000 in our Post Su Doku Championships this weekend.

‘I’m very excited about it. I love Su Doku!’ said Drenzyk, 18, an elementary-education student and one of 100 lucky Post readers who qualified and were then selected to compete Saturday at New York University.

Drenzyk got hooked on our exciting puzzle when it debuted in April in The Post.

More in the New York Post…

 

The Sudoku workout

Research has shown that keeping the mind agile is just as important as keeping fit in the battle to stay young. In fact, by stretching the brain with regular crossword and Sudoku puzzles, you can make your brain appear up to 14 years younger.

Professor Ian Robertson, of the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College, Dublin, who carried out the study of 3,000 men and women, reveals his top 10 tips for keeping the brain sharp and the years at bay.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Would you like a Sudoku with your Beer?

Japanese beer Asahi is aiming to help licensees make the game a little more sociable by putting sudokus on beer mats and announcing Britain’s first national sudoku tournament, the 2006 Asahi Pure Logic Championship.

According to the brilliantly named Moto Suzuki, sales and marketing general manager for Asahi Beer Europe: “The sudoku challenge presents an excellent opportunity for licensees to add value and boost their business by tapping into a current craze.”

More…

 

Interactive TV Sudoku Launches on Sky Gamestar

Puzzler Sudoku, an interactive TV version of the popular puzzle game, has launched on Sky Gamestar.

Players can purchase three complete puzzles at any one level for 60p or purchase unlimited access to all four levels of puzzles for £1.00 per session.

Enjoy – Tim

 

Knowledge Base: SuDoKu

André Normandin has kindly provided us with an in-depth review of Mastersoft’s SuDoku for Pocket PC. Complete with a discussion on installation issues, and many screen shots, André has given us a very balanced review of a great product.

“The hardest part of doing this review was putting the game down..”

(You may recall a review of this software from George a little while ago.)

Enjoy, Tim

 

Four Sudoku books in the USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS Top 50 list

Four Sudoku books feature in the USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS Top 50 list.

And the books are … (drum roll please)…

24. “The Book of Sudoku” by Michael Mepham (Overlook)

26. “Su Doku for Dummies” by Andrew Heron & Edmund James (Wiley)

42. “Sudoku Easy, Volume 1″ by Will Shortz (St. Martin’s Griffin)

47. “New York Post Su Doku 1″ by Wayne Gould (Collins)

 

Much ado about Sudoku

“Sudoku, or Su Doku, is the name for a maddeningly addictive Japanese number logic puzzle which has become a bona fide craze in the United States during the past few months.”

According to the most recent list of best-selling books tracked by USA Today, seven of the top 100 were compilations of Sudoku puzzles.

The rapid rise in popularity of the game has reminded some of the Rubik’s cube phenomenon in the 1980s. So who stands to make money from Sudoku?

Wayne Gould, a Hong Kong-based entrepreneur who has written a computer program that generates Sudoku puzzles, said that his firm, Pappocom, has received “well over $1 million” in revenue in less than a year from the game.

Considering how fast the game has become a pop-culture phenomenon, Gould is a bit worried that the craze could cool just as rapidly. “The glut does concern me. But it’s a free market,” Gould said.

Kathie Kerr, a spokesperson for Universal Press Syndicate, which began offering a version of Sudoku to newspapers in May and already has 250 clients, believes that Sudoku won’t be a fad. “This has been a fantastic launch for any new feature. It’s unprecedented,” she said.

“Crossword puzzles are the love of many people. There is a hope that newspapers can build the same kind of loyalty with Sudoku fans,” she said.

More from CNN.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Parker Pens cashes in on Sudoku

Parker Pens has become the first advertiser to cash in on the Sudoku craze, sponsoring the puzzle in The Independent.

The deal, brokered by Starcom on behalf of Sanford Fine, promotes Parker Pens’ new three-in-one product, which incorporates a pencil, pen and a PDA pointer.

The campaign, which starts on Monday, 3 October and will run every weekday until the end of December, is a departure from traditional advertising for Parker.

The Independent ‘s solutions department created a bespoke package that includes space around the Quick Sudoku on the back page and also the three puzzles on the games page.

Starcom said the puzzle was ideal for the product because players could use pencil to work out the options and fill in the final number in pen.

The PDA pointer could also come in handy for diehard fans as Starcom and Avantgo are creating a Sudoku Channel for download onto PDAs.

‘It is such a perfect fit with Sudoku,’ said Starcom’s Nadine Kafena, the planner responsible for the deal.

Story from Media Week

 

Sudoku Phenom Mobile

The number game sweeping the world is en route to handsets via GOSUB 60.

GOSUB 60 is prepping a mobile edition of global puzzle phenom Sudoku, the game that mixes crosswords with numbers.

Sudoku Deluxe will include over 1,000 puzzles stretched across four difficulty levels. GOSUB 60′s Sudoku Deluxe adds a community element with Text-A-Friend features that allow players to taunt and challenge each other right from a simple menu.

Sudoku Deluxe will roll out on October 15.

It will be available through IGN Wireless.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Puzzle solved – we love a brainteaser

Huddersfield puzzle compiler Philip Carter will never reveal his own IQ, but as a member of Mensa, it’s over 148, and his talent for logic and ability for lateral thinking puts him in the top two per cent of the population.

When the recent craze for sudoku took hold earlier this year, it brought with it a wave of experts espousing the health benefits of sitting in an armchair solving puzzles.

It’s something Philip has perhaps unsurprisingly been saying for years.

“It’s something you’ve got to do,” he says.

“The brain is the most important part of the body, but it’s the part we most take for granted. People go to the gym, they put moisturiser on their face, but often they forget about their brain.

“I really believe that by doing puzzles you strengthen the connection between the brain cells and the neurons. It’s about improving your mental well-being.”

While this may explain why people should do crosswords and brain teasers, it doesn’t quite shed light on why they do.

“I think it’s about taking time out,” says Philip. “There is something satisfying about filling in the final grid or solving a puzzle, and people don’t like them to be do easy, they want a challenge, but a challenge they can do sitting on the train or listening to the radio.

More in the Yorkshire Post Today

Enjoy

 

Sudoku Master for MS Smartphone released

In some countries (like UK) Sudoko has become one of the most popular puzzles nowadays! To the point that people don’t buy newspapers if they don’t have some Sudoku puzzle in them..

Here comes yet another Sudoku for MS Smartphone!

Enjoy, Tim

 

Number puzzles find fans across the country

‘I’ve got two words for you: eraser pen.’

That’s the advice of international flight attendant Debbie Grant of Annapolis for anyone looking to join in on the latest puzzle craze, sudoku.

Gary Amoth, owner of Hard Bean Coffee & BookSellers in Annapolis, which stocks a host of sudoku titles, tells of one customer who bought a puzzle book at 3 p.m. and was still going strong trying to solve them at home four hours later – incinerating the family’s dinner.

Mr. Amoth is a sudoku fan himself, and has had the books in stock for about 2½ months. They’ve been selling well, though he thinks the craze really hasn’t even started yet. Christmas will be the time it really takes off, he predicted.

More in HometownAnnapolis.com.

 

Sudoku sharpens wits without math

Software developer Jeff Grovesner picked up a copy of USA Today, and snagged on a Japanese-sounding game he’d never heard of before. It sucked him into another sphere of consciousness. When the 52-year-old Palm Bay, Fla., resident was finished, nearly six hours of his life were missing.

Grovesner says, ‘I managed to solve the problem.’

More in The Enquirer…

 

Sudoku got your number?

Frustrated? Confused?

Don’t worry. Sudoku has a habit of sticking it to newbies. But the more you play our new daily mindteaser, the better you get. And to provide a little more background — including a tip from a Sudoku master — The News Observer came up with a list of FAQs.

 

The All New Sudoku Daily Challenge!

If you haven’t yet subscribed to The Sudoku Daily Challenge, now is a great time to do so!

Our software is fully updated, and the puzzles and bigger and badder than ever!

Just fill in your name and email address in the box at the top right of this page, and click on the Subscribe button.

You will get a daily email with not one but two graded puzzles to keep you challenged. Don’t miss out! Sign up right now – you are just seconds away from your first Sudoku Daily Challenge email!

 

Sudoku in the Best Seller lists

The Sudoku craze is filling the best seller lists with Sudoku-related books.

‘I can’t think of a puzzle book that has sold like this,’ said Ethan Friedman, who edits The New York Times crossword puzzle books for St Martin’s/Griffin Press, including two volumes of sudoku with introductions by Times crossword guru Will Shortz.
‘This is a publishing phenomenon,’ said Friedman. In all, nine sudoku books are planned.

Nielsen BookScan, which lists 10 sudoku titles, estimates that they sold a combined 40 000 copies in the US last week. The only books that sold more were JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Kevin Trudeau’s Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About.

Three weeks ago, no sudoku books were on USA Today’s top 150 list. Now, there are six. “

“It could flame out, but based on everything I’ve been able to discern so far, sudoku is a keeper,” Barnes and Noble company president Esther Margolis said. “It’s the kind of puzzle that seems to be so intriguing and satisfies such a wide age range.”

More from News24.com…

 

Number of Possible Sudoku Grids

Further to my previous post that gave an idea on how many combinations of Sudoku puzzles we can have, Alex Rothenberg has come up with another answer.

Check out The Number of Possible Sudoku Grids.

I have a funny idea that this is just an academic question that will keep those who are so inclined busy for a long time. I mean, how will us mere mortals ever know when someone has got the “right” answer? Whatever, it’s interesting to follow along…

Enjoy, Tim

 

Sensei Vorderman

“With hard work and study, young novice, you may become a Sudoku Master when you are ready. But first you will have to defeat me in battle.”

Carol Vorderman really should be commended for her ability to jump on every bandwagon that’s going at the speed of sound. It’s a living, I guess.”

 

Hamster Sudoku

This one’s a bit of fun…

Think of Sudoku with pictures instead of numbers.

You can use the existing pictures, or upload your own.

A bit tricky if the pictures are similar, but a bit of fun, too.

Enjoy,
Tim

 

Just can’t kick that puzzling habit

Danny Katz, well known to The Age readers in Melbourne, Australia, has just announced his Sudoku addiction.

“Just this month I’ve stumbled across a new addiction, perhaps the most addictive of them all… I’m talking about the big S. The Japanese Junk. The Brain-Boiler itself, also known on the streets as… Soduko.”

“For some reason Soduko makes sense to me: there’s no maths involved or word-knowledge or even intelligence – you just need to be able to count from one to nine, AND I CAN DO THAT, I CAN DO THAT.”

Enjoy, Tim

 

Media Week – Future joins Su Doku craze

Bath-based magazine group Future is to jump on the Su Doku bandwagon at the end of August and launch its own monthly magazine for fans of the Japanese number game.

The group will publish the 68-page Total Su Doku from 25 August and the first edition will have a print run of 38,000 copies.

“Total Su Doku will do its bit to satisfy the needs of puzzle junkies each month.”

Enjoy – Tim

 

TealPoint Brings the Sudoku Craze to Your Palm

TealPoint Software, the leading developer of business and consumer applications for Palm connected organizers, announced today the release of Sudoku Addict version 1.00 for Palm OS handhelds.

Sudoku Addict comes complete with 3000 different puzzles, three challenging levels of difficulty, intuitive controls, a manual puzzle editor, a pencil annotation mode, and a puzzle-solver capable of completing any valid Sudoku. Sudoku Addict retails for $14.95.

Enjoy,
Tim

 

Chicago Sun-Times Publishes Sudoku

In an article entitled “Sudoku: This game’s not for the weak of mind — or patience”, The Chicago Sun-Times announces that it will now publish Sudoku puzzles Monday through Saturday on the second comics page.

They also had this to say:

“Aside from stimulating the intellect, Sudoku also has proved quite addictive — along the lines of Tetris, chocolate and some HBO original programming. British papers have carried ominous accounts of ‘Compulsive Sudoku Syndrome.’

‘Our experience is people can be immediately hooked,’ Spike Figgett, publishing director of Sudoku Selection magazine, told the Orlando Sentinel. ‘It is especially compelling to those of a compulsive nature and people who just won’t give up or give in. It’s caused many a commuter to miss their train stop.’ “

More…

 

Sudoku firm may add up to £100m

Bid speculation is surrounding Puzzler Media, the magazine publisher that has capitalised on the sudoku boom.

Puzzler was bought for £36.7m in April 2002 but its recent success has led to speculation that it will be sold for as much as £100m.

The company has a turnover of £17.6m and a deal anywhere near the mooted price tag will provide a windfall for Puzzler’s management team, led by Mel Lewis, the managing director, and Peter Nugent, the finance director.

The company also publishes magazines such as Woman’s Weekly, Kriss Kross and The Puzzler.

More…

 

News & Star

Cumbria is rising to the challenge of the new craze sweeping the country.

With the help of the News & Star you can try out the crossword of the 21st century with our daily Sudoku puzzles.

Every day the News & Star will be printing a puzzle.

If you consider yourself a Sudoku master, then you might be interested to know that News & Star are arranging a Cumbrian Sudoku championship. If you would like to compete leave your details on 01228 612300.

 

It’s not an ad, it’s cinema sudoku

OK, so it’s not really Sudoku, but a series of magazine advertisements by Stella Artois has recently been putting people into the same kind of glazed-eyed, mental-challenging trance-like states that have become so familiar with Sudoku.

For three weeks a series of adverts has been appearing in national magazines, each depicting a familiar scene of the English outdoors: a park, a town, a beach. But many readers stop their idle flicking when they realise those birds, or that car, or that shark’s fin look strangely familiar.

The Stella Artois adverts are a feast of cunning references to characters, props and scenarios from famous films. Anyone who has ever been inside a cinema is likely to recognise a few of the visual puns instantly; the challenge, which many find addictive, is then to crack the rest.

More…

 

Tribune Media Services To Syndicate ‘Sudoku’ Puzzles

Starting Monday 18th July, Tribune Media Services will become at least the third major ‘Sudoku’ distributor. TMS follows the self-syndicated Wayne Gould (who began doing the puzzles for newspapers last fall) and Universal Press Syndicate (which announced in May that it was offering ‘Sudoku’ puzzles by David Bodycombe).

TMS will syndicate ‘Sudoku’ puzzles by Michael Mepham, who has been doing a version of the grid-based logic game for the Los Angeles Times. The feature will be daily, and increase in difficulty as the week goes on. Mepham has produced several books of ‘Sudoku’ puzzles, including those that appeared in The Daily Telegraph of London.

More from Editor and Publisher…
More from Yahoo Business News…

 

Cayman Net News to introduce latest puzzle craze

Cayman Net News is about to introduce the latest craze that is literally sweeping the globe.

On Friday 14 July Net News will publish its first Su Doku (or sudoku) puzzle grid on the “Comics” page.

Enjoy…

 

Simple Sudoku explanations

Thanks to Jon Allen for the heads-up on this site.

Chandru Arni gives some very interesting explanations on how to play Sudoku, using shapes and symbols to assist those numerically-challenged amongst us, and smaller grids than 9 x 9 to help simplify things for the purposes of the lesson.

He also proposes a two player version of the game.

Check it out.

 

Simple Sudoku

Simple Sudoku generates high quality puzzles that are symmetrical, with a single solution, and do not require trial & error to solve. The user can also choose between five levels of complexity – from Easy to Extreme. Each puzzle is generated randomly so there is an almost limitless selection.

Not only does Simple Sudoku make challenging puzzles, it also provides tools to help solve them – removing the drudgery but not the fun. Keeping track of possible values for blank cells (candidates), providing filters and color markers are just some of the tools available to make solving even those really tricky puzzles possible. Also, if you ever get really stuck, Simple Sudoku can get you started again with a discrete hint (without giving everything away).

Check it out…

 

Solving Sudoku Tutorial

This is by far the best online tutorial that I have come across so far. It takes you right from the very basics, right through to explaining X-Wings and Swordfish.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Sudoku Master review

I have told you about Mastersoft’s SuDoku Master, before, now George has provided us with an indepth review of the program.

nb. Only for Pocket PC’s. But very nice!

 

Sudoku Whiteboard

Here’s a great little idea for those times when your eyes have gotten tired of quinting at a little 3″ x 3″ grid, or worse still, at the computer screen (or even worse still again, at your PDA screen!)…

Simply draw up a Sudoku grid using permanent markers on a whiteboard, then write in numbers to your heart’s content with a standard whiteboard marker.

Possibly a good idea to put up in the coffee area at work – a bit of communal Sudoku – although maybe the boss would get a bit concerned about the length of coffee breaks!…

Enjoy, Tim.

 

Beginners tutorial: 4 x 4 grid Sudoku

If you are just getting started you might want to have a look at this site. It shows (with pictures) how to solve a simple 4 x 4 Sudoku puzzle.

Which is a great way to start, because having only 4 numbers makes it much easier to see what is going on, and all of the principles can be applied to the usual 9 x 9 grid.

Enjoy!

 

Logic puzzle sudoku piques brains worldwide

In theory, anyone who can count can solve sudoku, which loosely translates as “single number.” But the underlying complexity is what has attracted millions worldwide.

For Bob Keegan, 56, a retired businessman in Green Valley, Ariz., sudoku offers a daily challenge that doesn’t involve word games or common knowledge.

“Accountants and engineers who like numbers will love this puzzle,” Keegan says. Keegan’s wife, Susan, discovered sudoku when she noticed a woman working one in a doctor’s waiting room.

She downloaded a puzzle that afternoon and shared it with her husband. Hooked, the two started doing at least a game a day.

“She was afraid that I wasn’t using my brain enough now that I’m retired,” Keegan says. “She wanted me to be sharper.”

But it’s a puzzle in which skill trumps smarts. “I have met people who you would expect to be brilliant and they have a blind spot for this puzzle,” says Wayne Gould, a New Zealander who discovered the game in Japan in 1997 and developed a computer program that generates fresh sudoku puzzles. “And I have met people without as much education who do very well with it.”

More…

 

USATODAY.com – Life Section puzzles Sudoku

Members of a USATODAY.com can now play Sudoku online. You can also try their puzzle service (including daily USA TODAY Crossword, 5 nationally syndicated crosswords daily, 2 jumbo size crosswords weekly, 3 daily updated jigsaws, 8 daily updated word games including the daily Jumble, 2 daily trivia challenges and dozens of other challenging word games, puzzles and card games), absolutely free. Cancel at anytime during the first 7 days and you will not be charged.

 

SUDOCRITTERS — The Game

Here’s one out of left field from Marginalien.

SUDOCRITTERS — The Game is an ‘on-line’ version of the Sudoku puzzle, using little pictures instead of numbers, and including rules for three player games!

You play by posting your move as a comment – the website will then be updated with your move.

Looks like a whole new concept in interactive Sudoku. Definitely brings in a communal aspect to what is otherwise a solitary game.

Enjoy, Tim.

 

Sudoku Comes to the Irish Examiner

The Irish Examiner has started to publish Sudoku Puzzles on its print edition.

Pack in your job, kiss your spouse farewell, padlock the door and pre-book your post-addiction withdrawal counselling sessions.

The puzzle craze that has swept the world is taking up residency in the print edition of The Irish Examiner and life will never be sane again.

At first a curiosity, it then becomes a challenge and finally a compulsion. Once hooked, there is no going back. Sudoku creeps into the consciousness and installs itself in the intellect until no blank square is safe. Just try to refrain from decorating the bathroom tiles.

Since Sudoku burst onto the scene a few months ago, it has revived coffee breaks, hijacked train journeys and left the latest chicklit and chiller thriller blockbusters on the shelf when it comes to the before-sleep must-do.

More…

 

Now, play Sudoku on your mobile – in India

Sudoku is now available on your mobile phone in India.

To download the popular Japanese logic puzzle, an Airtel customer can log on to the Airtel Live WAP portal and click on the Sudoku link, which will initiate the application download procedure. Alternatively you can SMS the keyword SUDOKU to 646.

The initial download will come free and will be pre-loaded with a Sudoku puzzle. Upon completing the first puzzle, you can download a new puzzle through the application itself for Rs.10.

More…

 

The Syracuse Post-Standard Gets Sudoku

The bridge column has moved from the comics page to the classified ads section to make room for the daily Sudoku puzzle in Syracuse’s Post-Standard. The Post-Standard is now publishing a Sudoku puzzle in the comics section Monday to Saturday, and in the Stars magazine on Sundays.

More…

 

Focus Multimedia releases Infinite Sudoku for PC CD-ROM at the end of July 2005

Feeding the nation’s obsession for the biggest puzzle phenomenon since the crossword, Focus Multimedia releases Infinite Sudoku for PC CD-ROM at the end of July 2005.

Check out the details here

 

Malaysia goes sudoku

The Star checks out a pub where the regulars are addicted to Sudoku with their morning coffee.

“Once you get started, you want to finish it, and when you do, you get a really good feeling of success. Probably a good shot of endorphins that make you feel better,” says Michael Mepham, who operates sudoku.org.uk and syndicates his puzzles to about 60 newspapers throughout the world.

“I play it because it is fun and easy. It is satisfying because when I’ve solved the puzzle, I can say I’m smart,” says Au with a laugh. Evon Au is a 33-year-old owner of Khanom Jeen restaurant in Subang Jaya.

Get the full story here .

 

Sudoku – an “Idea virus”

An article by Orna Coussin in Haaretz – Israel News – The Sudoku secret attempts to answer the question of “How did the Sudoku trend begin?”.

Looking at the ideas presented by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point”, Coussin argues that Wayne Gould spread an “idea virus” by giving the puzzles to newspapers in the West for free as a means of promoting computer game software that he had developed.

Read the full article here.

 

Win £5,000 With The World’s Largest Sudoku Puzzle

Win £5,000 by being selected as the winner if you send in your version of the solution to the World’s Largest Sudoku Puzzle from the hills of Chipping Sodbury.

What? “Your version of the solution?” Yes, that’s right. There are reported to be 1905 unuique ‘correct’ solutions. So for the purists, this is not a Sudoku puzzle at all!

Anyway, it doesn’t pay to be elitist about it, when £5,000 is up for grabs!

Click here for entry details.

 

Sudoku Hits The Big Time

Sudoku now gets its own TV show. Carol Vorderman is hosting a game show based on Sudoku. It starts on Friday at 9pm (UK only) on Sky.

With £9,000 up for grabs, it should prove to be quite popular.

Thanks to Neil for the heads-up on this one.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Sudoku not just a puzzle, but a work of beauty

Wayne Gould, the guy who introduced Sudoku to the UK, and ultimately to the rest of the world, thinks his Sudoku puzzles are beautiful. His wife thinks they are a bit of a doddle.

“I make sure they follow the Japanese style. They insist on having clues spread symmetrically so that it looks beautiful. Then it’s not just a puzzle, it’s a work of beauty.”

“I used to use my wife Gaye to test them. Unfortunately, after all that experience she is now much better at solving them than I am. She really has got it down to a fine art and can do an easy puzzle in about 90 seconds. It still takes me about three minutes.”

Check out the full article in The New Zealand Herald.

 

Mastersoft SuDoku Master V1 Beta Programme for Pocket PC

Mastersoft is releasing a beta program (geek-speak for “still in testing, may have some bugs”) Sudoku program for the Pocket PC.

Sign up to the SuDoku Master V1 Beta Programme at Mastersoft’s forum (requires free registration).

The first Beta is now available.

They need to know 1. If you like it and 2. if you like it :0).

Please note that they do expect bugs because it is a beta.

Competing products tend to come with around 30 to 100 puzzles…. SuDoku Master will have around 10 Million graded puzzles … let them know if you need more … ;-)

Enjoy – Tim.

 

Giant Sudoku Puzzle in Bristol

A giant Sudoku puzzle measuring 275ft x 275ft appeared overnight near Bristol.

The 81-square grid, which appeared in a field at Hinton Farm in the early hours of Wednesday, can be seen from villages up to three miles away.

Check out the details here.

 

What Sudoku isn’t

We all know that we love it. Not so many of us are completely sure why we love it. Read about Tom Armitage’s thoughts in What Sudoku isn’t

“The reason Sudoku is popular is that it isn’t a game. It’s an exercise.”

 

Sudoku puzzles and Sugar Harvesting

The CSIRO in Australia has developed a computer program to crack the Japanese Sudoku puzzle, and in doing so is able to save the sugar industry millions of dollars in harvesting costs.

Apparently the problem solving required to crack the puzzle mirrors the decision-making needed for efficient harvesting.

“Conditions and problems faced in the sugar industry have a lot of commonality to a Sudoku puzzle.”

Check out the full article here.

Check out the CSIRO press release here.

 

Sudoku in Jerusalem Post – No Stranger to Numbers

The Jerusalem Post has started to publish Sudoku puzzles.

Although the Sudoku has only recently arrived, Israel has a very long history with number puzzles, dating back thousands of years. In modern times, gematria (a form of Hebrew numerology that uses the numerical values of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet) gymnastics often add witty content to after-dinner speeches or Torah lessons, the speaker trying, for example, to come up with compliments which share the same sum as the bar-mitzva boy’s name or the combined names of a wedding couple.

The article puts Sudoku to the gematria test. Sudoku totals 182, the equivalent of holech vehazek – getting stronger and stronger – which characterizes the popularity of the new craze and reassuringly confirms the authentic significance of gematria.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Sudoku Master

The Sudoku Master offers a free Sudoku puzzle every day to solve online, or print out and solve.

Enjoy

 

Godoku Solver

Godoku.com offers free registration for a couple of Sudoku solvers – one regular one, and one for Goduko, which is basically Sudoku but with letters instead of numbers.

For a £5.00 registration you also have access to an online Super Sudoku Solver – you know, the one with each box being 4×4 instead of 3×3.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Sudoku Comes To Ventura County Star

Sudoku has arrived in Ventura County. The Ventura County Star is now publishing Sudoku puzzles in the Classified section.

And it comes with a warning: “Give it a go, but please seek professional help if obsession interferes with daily living.”

Enjoy

 

Sudoku Susser for Mac OS X

Another free Sudoku solver & helper, Sudoku Susser 1.1.0 provides hints and allows you to drag Sudoku puzzles in from web pages.

This one is just for the Mac OS X (sorry PC users).

Enjoy

 

GNUDoku – Sudoku for Linux

OK, I haven’t forgotten all of you Linux fans!

Check out GNUDoku. This program is offered free under the GNU General Public license.

You will need to know how to compile programs using the gtkmm library … and if you have no idea what I am talking about, then don’t ask me, ’cause I don’t know either! ;-)

Enjoy

 

Freeware Pocket PC: Sudoku Solver v1.0

FreewarePPC.com – Freeware Pocket PC: Sudoku Solver v1.0

Input a Sudoku puzzle and click ‘solve all’. The app will do the business for you.

You can save or load Sudoku’s, as well as create random puzzles based on a difficulty slider.

It is free, and requires the eVB Runtime to run.

Enjoy, Tim

 

If It Walks Like Sudoku . . .

Click through to The IT Jungle for an interesting comparison between Sudoku and IBM’s balance sheet!

Enjoy

 

The Star Online Publishes Sudoku Puzzles

Starting today The Star Online brings you a five-day weekly Sudoku puzzle.

Enjoy

 

Sudoku-san – Your Sudoku Assistant

Sudoku-san – another online source of Sudoku puzzles, with daily puzzles, an archive, and an ‘enter your own’ option, the assistant helps you with an ‘initial sweep’ (what numbers can go in what cells), a ‘check my work’ option (very useful for highlighting mistakes when you suddenly find you have messed something up somewhere but don’t know where you went wrong), a ‘suggest a move’ option (really good if just can’t go any further), and a ‘just solve it’ option to help keep all your hair attached to your head!

Check out Sudoku-san – Your Sudoku Assistant.

 

Solving Sudoku: A Tutorial

Check out this very detailed step-by-step tutorial for solving a Sudoku puzzle. If you read down the comments thread, you will see that this method will not solve the most difficult puzzles, but it will certainly go a long way towards getting you started.

Enjoy, Tim

 

The First Sudoku?

Sudoku is often compared to Magic Squares, a rectangular array of numbers, so that each column, row, and both diagonals have the same sum. (thankfully we don’t need maths with Sudoku!)

The history of magic squares dates back to at least 1000 BC in China. By the 2nd Century BC there were 4×4 magic squres appearing, often in connection with religious practice.

One of the most famous illustrations of a magic square is in the famous Albrecht Durer woodcut, Melancholia. The illustration and a blow up of the square can be seen at these links to the St Andrews University site.

Another famous variation on the Magic Square (enhanced image shown below) is on the Passion facade of the Sagrada Familia, the unfinished cathedral in Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudi. Each row and column add up to 33, the age of Christ at his death.

For more information on the History of Sudoku click here.

Information on Magic Squares sourced from Magic Squares.

 

Sudoku For Kids

Activity Village has produced a series of very easy Sudoku puzzles designed for kids (also good for adults just starting out and wanting an gentle “learning curve”!). Enjoy!

 

The Globe and Mail Published Sudoku Puzzles

Sudoku, the worldwide puzzle sensation, makes its debut in The Globe and Mail today.

They will publish a new puzzle every day on Page 2. Solutions will appear in the paper the next day. Meanwhile, beginning on Monday on globeandmail.com, for subscribers, they will feature a more difficult level of Sudoku each day.

More…

 

Sudoku Math

For a scientific discussion of Sudoku, and the relationship between it and “Latin Squares” (introduced by Leonhard Euler in the 1700′s), check out Science News Online.

 

Samurai Sudoku Solver

Have you heard of the Samurai Sudoku?

Think of it as five Sudoku puzzles, arranged with one in the center and the other four at each corner, with the corner 3×3 blocks overlapping.

Check out this Samurai Sudoku solver (available to UK residents only due to the fact that you need to register for a £1 code using your mobile phone).

I am still trying to track down some puzzles for you. I will update this post when I do.

 

Politiken Is Now Publishing Sudoku

The Politiken newspaper in Denmark is now publishing a Sudoku puzzle in the weekend edition.

Here is a link to their web page, but sorry, I don’t speak a lick of Danish, so I really can’t comment! But if you can read Danish, then enjoy!

For the rest of us, …… Next! :-)

 

I Know The Secret Of Sudoku (for a tenner)

Frederic Offler, and 85 year old pensioner from Scotland, has written step-by-step instructions for solving Sudoku.

“I never found it all that hard to come up with a solution. It was pretty simple to be honest. I’m used to thinking logically. I’ve been doing it for years, so it didn’t take me too long.”

But Frederic is not interested in the money, so the £10 will go to Cancer Research UK. “I’m not interested in making money, I just want to do my bit for charity.”

For the full story, click here.

 

Nine things you didn’t know about Sudoku

Here’s a bit of a giggle from the Telegraph.

Enjoy

 

Sudoku is a classic meme…

Scientists have identified Sudoku as a classic meme – a mental virus which spreads from person to person and sweeps across national boundaries. Dr Susan Blackmore, author of The Meme Machine, said: ‘This puzzle is a fantastic study in memetics. It is using our brains to propagate itself across the world like an infectious virus.’

Check out the full article here.

 

Indians say ‘we do’ to Sudoku

We already know that Sudoku is Big News in India (scroll down for a number of articles on this).

Now, thanks to the Business News – Webindia123.com we get a quote from an Indian yoga teacher about the “Zen-like simplicity” of Sudoku, and that the simplicity of the rules combined with the difficulty to solve puzzles is “like the yin and the yang in the same game“.

Wow, deep!

 

The Kids of New Zealand Sudoku

There are the odd references popping up here and there about teachers using Sudoku puzzles as learning aids.

Here is some photographic evidence from the Wanganui Chronicle.

 

The Hindu Now Publishes a Daily Sudoku puzzle

The Hindu, the online edition of India’s National Newspaper, is now publishing a daily Sudoku puzzle. Check it out, and enjoy…

 

Web Sudoku

Another online Sudoku puzzle generator, Web Sudoku has a pretty simple interface (no pencil marks, or helps), but it does have a nifty “How am I going so far” button so you can see if you are on the right track even if you haven’t finished yet.

It also allows you to select from three different grades of puzzles – and all puzzles are random, so you can keep going to your heart’s content!

Enjoy.

 

Sudoku for Windows Mobile Smartphone

Sudoku on your phone? Check out Kicking Software. Way cool!

 

Sudoku comes to the Rocky Mountain News

From Monday 13th July the Rocky Mountain News will introduce a daily Sudoku puzzle to the puzzle page. And it comes with an addiction warning too, check out the comment at the bottom of the report.

Enjoy, Tim

 

A puzzling obsession

The Sudoku craze afflicting people everywhere — in offices and in homes.

This report from the Business Standard, an Indian Business edition from New Delhi tells of the sweet obsession that is spreading across the offices. Described as “a heady cerebral stimulant”, this report tries to make sense of the obsession.

Don’t fight it, I say. Just succumb and enjoy!

 

Quick Sudoku

Here’s some thoughts from a Sudoku novice, who has also kindly posted a Quick Sudoku for people if it is all becoming just a bit too hard…

Hmmmm…. Whatever….

 

PocketGamer – Sudoku: take 2

Another Sudoku game for the Pocket PC. Very fancy looking graphics, but as the man says, no info about the amount of puzzles you get for your $7.

I’m already happy with my BunnyDoku, but if anyone wants to take the chance, please post a comment and let us all know how you went.

 

Sudoku history clarification

There are various stories circulating about the history and origins of Sudoku. Eamonn Fitzgerald has provided us with a compact overview of the different opinions here.

Of course, those of you who have been with us from the start would know that the ‘real’ history has been available further down the page on The Sudoku Experience for a while now… ;-)

Enjoy

 

Free Online Sudoku at Fingertime

Just found another free online daily Sudoku site. This one has a cute little ‘clock face’ number selector, which means you can do the whole thing without taking you hand off the mouse. The puzzles are pretty easy, but there is no help in the form of “which numbers can go into this cell?” like a lot of online puzzles have, and no way to enter your own pencil marks (although you can print out where you are up to in the puzzle).

A timer in the top right hand corner keeps you on your toes, and if you really get stuck, the solutions to the previous day’s puzzles are also included.

Check it out at Fingertime.

Enjoy!

 

Cambridge Evening News offers online Sudoku game

The Cambridge Evening News has created an online version of Sudoku. The online version does not need to be printed out, but is truly online: it can be played directly on your screen. Players are able to compete against each other for the best completion times, registered on a live leaderboard.

Read the full story on the Digital Bulletin.

 

Sudoku Reaches Galicia, Spain

Down near the bottom of this blog post, “Thoughts from Galicia, Spain” is a report of the El Mundo (English translation by Google) printing a Sudoku on every page of its magazine section.

Nice to see ‘our’ game is truly international.

 

Behind the daylight, who knew what it could feel like? – Sudokwho

If you can’t get enough of either popular BBC television program Doctor Who or omnipresent logic puzzle Sudoku, why not combine your interests by playing Sudokwho? This fun little crossover provides a pleasant diversion from the usual numbers…

Enjoy, Tim

 

How To Beat Your Sudoku Addiction

Here’s an interesting take on how to go cold turkey from your Sudoku addiction… Check out Mark in Mexico’s suggestion.

Possibly a little extreme… :-)

 

SuDoku One for Palm OS

I know I have given you links to Pocket PC Sudoku applications… Now here’s one for the Palm. Check it out at PalmGear.com.

 

Sudoku Generator and Solver for Mac OS X

Here is a Sudoku Generator and Solver for the Mac OS X. Being as I am a PC person, I have not been able to test this out. For all of you mac-ophiles, feel free to post a comment with your reviewof this software.

Enjoy

 

Sudoku Puzzle Helper

Peter Forret has given us an on-line Sudoku Puzzle Helper.

Unlike other solvers that just give you the answer, this nifty little tool saves you time by letting you know which numbers are still available to go into the squares. It saves you the time-consuming task of doing the “Can a 1 go here? Can a 2 go here? etc” for each cell, but without actually solving it for you.

This means that you still have the satisfaction of working out the tricky logic, secure in the knowledge that you won’t make any silly little mistakes.

Have fun,
Tim

 

Sudoku puzzles: how to solve

Check out this great interactive tutorial. With the clever use of graphics to show the logic behind each decision, this tutorial will give you a great grounding in the basics, and a little bit beyond the basics, to help you all but the most diabolical of puzzles.

Enjoy!

 

Do You Sudoku?

Do You Sudoku?

This software for the Pocket PC is designed to assist in solving Sudoku puzzles. Surprise your friends with your Sudoku genius! Most (but please note not all) Sudoku puzzles can be cracked in under 5 minutes. Using your Pocket PC means that you can solves puzzles in any location. No newspaper required!

ARM4 Processor version US $9.99
ARM/MIPS/SH3 Processors version US $9.99

The program comes complete with 25 puzzles rated from very easy to extremely difficult. If you want to take it further, an additional pack of 25 puzzles can also be purchased. This diverse collection of Sudoku puzzles requires Pocket PC Sudoku Solver to open them. Some are easy, some are fiendish. Some may make you go slightly crazy. Sudoku Solver rates the difficulty of each puzzle (and for the lazy, gives help with completion!).

25 Puzzle Pack US $5.00 (requires Do You Sudoku software to run)

Enjoy

 

Extreme Su Doku and Sudoku Secrets Revealed

Check out this rather tongue-in-cheek take on Sudoku, complete with their version of Extreme Sudoku.

Enjoy!

 

Bauer launches Su-doku mag

The German magazine publisher H Bauer is about to publish its first edition of a monthly 80-puzzle Sudoku magazine. The initial print run is slated at 100,000 copies … I suspect that they will sell out fairly quickly. Look out for it!

 

Sudoku Books Hit the Bestseller Lists

Who would have thought that a puzzle book would hit the bestseller lists?

The Times book is charging ahead, and Wayne Gould’s book is the bestselling nonfiction title for the second week running, and the fourth most popular of all books!

Read the full article here.

 

Sudoku in Swedish

Just an interesting little side note for those of us who don’t speak Swedish, the numbers say the same in any language! Check it out

 

Sudoku Fever Grips India

Sudoku has reached the shores of India, where it has whipped up a small following, with readers describing it as “interesting”, “addictive” and a “refreshing change from regular crosswords”. Check out the full story.

 

Sudoku Online

I have just stumbled across a great all-round site about all things Sudoku. Check out Sudoku Online for hundreds of links to online and printable Sudoku puzzles, solvers, news, books, etc. A very comprehensive site!

Enjoy,

Tim

 

The experiences of a Sudoku newbie

Here are the experiences of a Sudoku newbie who, after spending a weekend of furiously writing in numbers in squares and then rubbing them out, muttering and grumbling (sometimes swearing) and tossing the odd screwed up piece of paper in the bin, decided it was time to seek professional help.

The help came in the form of Peter Martin, senior lecturer in statistics at Ballarat University. He says the secret to solving Sudoku is to start by putting the numbers you’re absolutely sure are right in pen, and then work your way through the puzzle using a pencil so numbers can be erased when you find out they’re wrong.

Click here for an interview with Peter Martin (turn your speakers on).

 

SuDoku puzzle for your mobile phone

Here’s another website for getting Sudoku puzzles on your mobile phone. (I predict that sites offering this service will start popping up like mushrooms soon).

This one is only £3.00 for 90 puzzles. Very good value!

 

Early ‘Sudoku’ Syndicator Discusses His Popular Puzzle’s New Competition

Universal Press Syndicate has announced that they will be providing six versions of the Sudoku puzzle to newspapers and magazines. This is in direct competition with Wayne Gould, the retired New Zealand judge who developed the computer program and sold the idea to the Times in London. Wayne syndicates his puzzles to over 30 diferent newspapers across a dozen countries for free.

It will be interesting to note if there is any significant difference in the ‘playability’ of Universal’s puzzles.

Read more here…

 

The Australian: Sudoku cloak and dagger recalls a more cutthroat time

The outbreak of the “Sudoku Wars” between the British newspapers, and more recently, the Australian newspapers, brings back memories of earlier times. Sudoku cloak and dagger recalls a more cutthroat time [May 26, 2005].

“Bring it on” is all I can say! All the better for us Sudoku lovers!

 

BBC NEWS – The puzzling popularity of Su Doku

How would you like to receive 60,000 emails on one topic within the space of two months! That’s what happened to Michael Mepham, Sudoku puzzle creator for the Telegraph, since starting to publish the fiendishly addictive puzzles.

I’ve never seen anything in the puzzle industry that’s caused such a fuss” – Michael Mepham.

Check out the full article.

 

UQ mathematics website helps Sudoku puzzlers

UQ mathematics website helps Sudoku puzzlers: “People addicted to the current Sudoku craze can now log on to a UQ mathematics website to find helpful advice about solving these intriguing puzzles.

UQ Mathematics Professor Anne Street and Associate Professor Diane Donovan have created the website, http://www.maths.uq.edu.au/~dmd/puzzles-and-other.htm, which gives a step-by-step example of how to tackle a smaller version of the puzzles. “

 

Why Is Sudoku So Popular?

We all know that Sudoku is popular (why else would you be reading this?!). Here is someone who has put words around what we all know intuitively to be true.

 

BBC Newsnight Sudoku

I guess by now you all know that it doesn’t have to be the numbers 1 to 9 going into the squares – it could really be any group of nine unique things (symbols, shapes, colors, letters, etc). Just to prove the point, BBC’s Newsnight has offered their own version.

It’s a bit of a giggle…

 

Samurai Sudoku

Did you know that Sudoku was invented in Japan in 400AD, by Samurai warriors seeking to hone their minds as much as their swordplay skills?

Did you know that Sudoku actually means “Way of the bean curd”, due to its elegance and power to bring calm?

You didn’t? Well, no, neither did I (if you are still confused, check out the Sudoku History, or have a look at a Samurai Sudoku Solver).

But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good yarn.

Enjoy.

 

Sudoku Addict

Are you a Sudoku addict? Check out this article by Seth Stevenson… My Days Are Numbered – I’m addicted to a Japanese logic puzzle. You will be, too.

 

Zen and the Art of Sudoku

I gotta tell you, some people get very involved with these Sudoku puzzles!

And I don’t just mean figuring out how to solve them. I mean looking at the deeper meaning, the philosophical questions that surround our much-loved 9 x 9 grid.

Check out OddThinking – Get a Sudo-Clue! for a discussion on whether or not solving a Sudoku requires mathematics…

 

Sudoku: Information From Answers.com

Thought you might like to see what the good people at Answers.com have to say about Sudoku. Sourcing their information from Wikipedia, they give a great overview of history, methods, computer solutions, construction, variants and the mathematics behind the puzzle. have a look and see what you think.

- Tim.

 

Sudoku Dashboard Widget

All of you Mac users are in luck – you can now have Sudoku directly on your dashboard. Check out Apple – Mac OS X Downloads – Dashboard Widgets – Sudoku Fun. And for the rest of us PC users we are just jealous… ;-)

 

Eat eggs and play Sudoku if you want to be brainier

We all secretly knew this to be true. But now the next time someone tells you to “Stop wasting your time with those silly puzzles and do something constructive”, you can say “Hah! This is making me smarter!” Here’s proof!

 

The Mail online’s Sudoku challenge

Just can’t get enough Sudoku? The Daily Mail has links to a week’s worth of Sudoku puzzles in varying degress of difficulty, in their Mail online’s Sudoku challenge.

Enjoy

 

Sudoku puzzles: kids

Sudoku puzzles: kids

 

Another Sudoku Solver program

Here is another useful little Sudoku Solver freeware application. I haven’t found a Sudoku yet that it can’t figure out! (please post a comment here if you find one that stumps it)

I think it was a bit of a lunchtime distrction for the guys down at DeadMan’s Handle (data protection for laptops).

It features:

  • Integrated help.
  • Saving and loading of puzzles and solutions.
  • Scan of input data for obvious errors.
  • Very fast solution times.
  • Identification of malformed puzzles.
  • A training mode.
  • Maintenance of an eMail template.
  • Quick sending of a standard solution eMail from the template.
  • Generation of text messages for use with non-SMTP mail systems.

Of course, you could use the email feature for emailing in your answers quickly to the newspapers that run competitions, but we wouldn’t do that because that would be cheating, wouldn’t it?!!??…

Enjoy

 

Sudoku On Your Pocket PC

Wow! I have just installed Bunnyhug’s Sudoku for Pocket PC. I’m impressed!

So kewl … now I can play Sudoku on the train without needing to remember to bring a pencil & eraser!

They offer a trial version, which is limited to only allowing you to play about 30 fairly easy puzzles. Then you can splash out with a huge US$3 ( agast!) to download the full version, which has 300 built in puzzles, plus a puzzle editor for creating your own puzzles (or entering puzzles from the paper or magazines), plus a random puzzle generator.

You can enter up to four ‘scratch pad’ numbers for each square. The interface is very easy to use, and after a bit of familiarization you’ll be hooked!

Click here to have a look.

 

Solving SuDoku Puzzles

They say that one of the best ways to learn something is to watch “over the shoulder” of an expert and learn from what they are doing. Roger Walker is such an expert, and he has kindly made a couple of walkthroughs with details of his logic and reasoning at each step of the way.

Very helpful! Thanks Roger!

 

Sudoku helper/solver

The good folk at MPP have put together a nifty little Sudoku Helper / Solver. It is freeware, although they take PayPal donations if you want to support what they are doing.

It has a useful feature to easily display which numbers can be entered into each square, although the interface is a little clunky (you can’t just type in a number, you have to right click and select the number to enter it).

It has a built in ‘hint’ facility (eg “The cell at row 4, column 5 is the only possible location for 4 within its group.”), or you can just get it to solve the puzzle outright (is that cheating?…. :-) . Although I did find with really tough puzzles it sometimes cannot figure them out. I guess there’s no substitute for the grey matter after all…

Another great feature is the ability to create puzzles, with 5 levels of difficulty rated from Trivial through to Hardest. In fact the hard puzzles are so hard that it is not always able to solve its own puzzles!

All in all, it is a great little utility with some useful features. And you can’t really go wrong for the price!

Have fun,
Tim

 

Sudoku Solutions

If you just can’t wait for the solutions to the Sudokos published in England’s newspapers, click across to SudokuSolutions and find the answers even before the papers print them!

This site is brand new – and currently only has the answers to the Guardian’s 27th may 2005 edition. But stay tuned – this looks like it could be the start of something big…

 

You can’t please all of the people …

We have all experienced the frustration of staring at those squares with no idea of what to do next. I guess it just all gets a little too hard for some people. Ah well, you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people …

 

3D Sudoku!

Now it’s just getting silly! :-)

The Daily Telegraph has published an article on the Dion Cube™ – think of a cube made up of nine layers of Sudoku puzzles.

Not only must each number only appear once for each 3 x 3 square, each row and each column, it must also appear only once for each ‘vertical column’ – ie. each corresponding cell in all of the layers above and below it.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so enough with the talking and on with the puzzling! (note, you will need Adobe Reader for this one… Use the “Get Adobe Reader” link over on the right if you need the free reader software).

Have fun,

Tim

 

Is Guessing necessary?

Here are a few thoughts on whether you can always solve a Sudoku by logic – ie. without having to resort to guessing.

The answer is that for most simple puzzles simple (or fairly complex) logic will solve the puzzle, but for more difficult puzzles you will need to guess for at least one square – after which you should be able to fall back on good ol’ logic to finish the puzzle.

The Sudoku Programmers forum gives you a few different methods for guessing (gee, and I thought it was just ‘think of a number…’). Like X-Wings, Nishio, Swordfish and Jacko!



STOP PRESS!!

I feel a little embarrassed! I (almost) completely misunderstood what I was reading when I researched the topics above!

Yes, Nishio is the word for when you make a guess in Sudoku, then back-track if you need to if you hit a dead-end.

But X-Wings, Swordfish and Jacko are different patterns of numbers that appear in the puzzles, each one with a specific way of solving them. Stay tuned for a future post when I have got my head around them enough to introduce them properly!


Have Fun!
Tim

 

Britons trapped among 81 squares

The Star-Ledger from the USA gives us their spin on the Sudoku craze that is sweeping Britain.

I like the way that the word ‘Sudoku’ is creeping its way into our common language:

“A Times columnist wrote dismissively about Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recent Cabinet shuffle: “It is not exactly Sudoku, is it?” “

 

Guardian Unlimited – Insanity by numbers

Justin McCurry takes up his chewed pencil stub to report from the home of Sudoku on how the little grids became such big business, in Insanity by numbers.

 

Sudoku Speed Challenge

Click through to Sudoku Fun – A new puzzle everyday to enter their Speed Challenge.

Fill in the onscreen grid in the fastest time, and get your name up on the leader board!

Enjoy!

 

Just how many Sudoku combinations are there?

For most of us, we can just glaze over here, but I thought I’d add this fun little sequence for the mathematicians amongst us.

The question is: If you start from a blank Sudoku grid, just how many different combinations can you have?

There is (wait for it…) 11 pages of forum thread on sudoku.com.

Thankfully a very wise person called Bertram has posted a solution.

The final calculation is:
2^15 * 3^8 * 5*7 * 27,704,267,971 = 9! * 72^2 * 2^7 * 27,704,267,971

And the final answer is (drum roll please…)
6,670,903,752,021,072,936,960.

But…. does anyone know how you say it (are we talking about trillions, gazillions, scadillions…)?

 

Daily Mail claims Su Doku

The newspaper war hots up in England. Read a nicely balanced summary of the claims and counter-claims here: sjhoward.co.uk – Daily Mail claims Su Doku.

I agree with the final quote:

“I propose a truce. We’ve all got one now, let’s just leave it alone. Do the puzzle, don’t do the puzzle, just don’t talk about it.”

 

The Times brings cult Sudoku craze to mobile phones

Revolution Web Site: “The Times brings cult Sudoku craze to mobile phones”

Now you can take your Sudoku with you wherever you go! Well, at least if you live in the UK. Hopefully some newspaper publishers catch on in other parts of the world soon…

Here is the link to the Times Online web page where you can sign up if you live in the UK and meet their other requirements.

 

Daily Sudoku Game

Mousebreaker Free Online Games – Daily Sudoku! Game

Here’s a site worth checking out. They have a really spiffy interactive game interface, that even lets you put in a few options into each square while you are working it out. And then, for your five seconds of fame, you can enter your name into the hall of fame when you finish!

Definitely worth bookmarking.

Enjoy,

Tim

 

The Daily SuDoku

Here’s another great site for those of us who just can’t get enough Sudoku.

The Daily SuDoku

They’ve even got a downloadable puzzle book with some ‘back issues’! Stop already!! My brain’s heading into melt-down!

Enjoy

 

Blank Sudoku Grids

You’ve been there, I’ve been there; you are two thirds of the way through a puzzle, with little numbers written in, crossed out, written in again cause you made a mistake, and it’s all just one big mess!

Here’s where the blank grids come to the rescue. Already ruled up for your convenience, all you have to do is print them out, fill in the starting numbers and you are off and running.

Click here to open them in a new window.

 

Super Sudoku

Just in case a 3 x 3 grid (81 squares) is not enough for you, The Independent has released a version in its weekend edition of a 4 x 4 grid (256 squares), called the Super Sudoku. Because we run out of numbers at 9, it uses the computer number base hexadecimal, which uses the letters a – f to signify 10 – 15.

I guess they figure that you have the whole weekend to get it done! Then you have to go back to work on Monday to let your brain recover!

 

Free Sudoku Workpad

The nice folk at www.sudoku-xls.com have made available a free Microsoft Excel based tool to help with solving Sudoku’s.

It can be upgraded for a few dollars to enable a bunch of features, including making it into an automated solution aid, and to link in automatically with The Times in England, making it easy to send in your answers for their Sudoku competitions.

Note: Unfortunately it requires the use of macros, and so you may have to turn down your level of Windows security in order to use it.

 

Sudoku Tutorial

Check out this series of tutorials from Let’s Play, a puzzle website in Japan. They take you through the basics, and start to get into some more advanced techniques using animated examples.

Well worth a check if you are just getting started.

 

Sudoku History

Did you know that Sudoku was originally called Latin Squares? It was invented by a mathematician called Leonhard Euler in the 18th-century. As his eyesight started to fail, he developed the ability to perform complex equations in his head, as well as a talent for designing puzzles.

Then in the 1970′s it reappeared as the Number Place Game in America. In the 1980′s it was picked up by a Japanese puzzle publisher and called Sudoku (pronounced sue-doe-koo). The name is Japanese; su – “number” – and doku – “single”; in kanji it is written 数独. The monthly Sudoku puzzle magazines in Japan currently have a circulation of around 660,000.

In the late 1990′s Wayne Gould, a retired judge from New Zealand visited a bookstore in Japan and a Sudoku puzzle book caught his eye. After several years of research he created a computer program to generate the puzzles, and introduced it to the Times newspaper in England. This seemed to trigger a craze in England, with the newspapers having something of publishing war to try and prove their dominance in the Sudoku market.

More recently it is starting to take off in other places around the world.

 

A couple of puzzles

Warm up your printer and sharpen your pencil. Here are a couple of puzzles to get you started. I have included a really easy one (if this is your first time), and a reasonably difficult one for if you consider yourself to be pretty good at them!

Click here to open the puzzles in a new window.

Do you want to receive two new puzzles every day delivered directly to your email inbox? Subscribe to The Sudoku Daily Challenge in the box at the top of the page for your daily brain workout!

 

How To Solve Sudoku

What is Sudoku? How do you play it? What are the tricks and techniques to help you get beyond staring at a bunch of blank squares, and start to fill in those numbers?

Michael Mepham has put together a great guide called, appropriately enough, Solving Sudoku. (If the link does not work, it is likely that you need to upgrade your version of Adobe Reader (free software). Go to Adobe.com and click on the Get Adobe Reader link.) It explains the rules, guides you through the basics, and gives you a quick teaser into the world of ‘Truly Diabolical Sudokus’. You even get four different Sudoku’s to attempt, ranging from Gentle and Moderate, through to Tough and Diabolical! (and it also gives you the answers on the next page).

Click Here to open the guide in a new window.

Enjoy!