Archive for June, 2005

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.