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.

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