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The Magic of Sudoku

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The Magic of Sudoku


How this popular puzzle came to be

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are, you’ve seen someone playing a game of sudoku. Maybe they were scribbling one down in a newspaper or flicking through a puzzle on their phones. Whichever form, sudoku remains a popular pastime for those looking to exercise their mind or relax a little.

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What’s The Big Idea?

Simply put, sudoku is a number-placement puzzle. Originally called Number Place, sudoku is described as a numbers game––specifically, the numbers 1 through 9. Despite what many newbies might think, sudoku is all about logic and not your ability to do the math.

The basis of sudoku begins with a 9×9 grid. When completing a puzzle, you have three sections to think about: rows, columns, and boxes. The sudoku goal is to fill each 9-square row, each nine-square column, and each nine-square box with the numbers 1 to 9. And each number can only be used once in each section. A sudoku puzzle already has a few of the numbers filled in, and it’s the player’s objective to figure out where the rest of the numbers go.

So How Did Sudoku Come To Be?

Unbeknownst to most, this little puzzle has quite an interesting history behind it. In the 19th century, French newspapers began featuring variations of sudoku for about a decade. However, the puzzle disappeared around the time of World War I. Sudoku also started popping up in Dell puzzle books during the 1970s, adapted from a mathematical concept called Latin Squares.

Modern sudoku only began to gain popularity in 1986 when Nikoli’s Japanese puzzle company published it. Nikoli was the first to call the puzzle sudoku––which means a single number. In 1997, Hong Kong judge Wayne Gould saw a partly completed puzzle in a Japanese bookshop. And, he was hooked. Over the next six years, Gould dedicated his time to developing a computer program that could generate unique puzzles. Once he developed the program, Gould then pitched the idea for regular sudoku puzzles to appear in popular American and British newspapers. After a few rejections, The Times in Britain launched it in 2004, and the New York Post picked it up around April 2005.

As more and more people loved the puzzle, sudoku rapidly spread to other newspapers and publications as a regular feature. It wasn’t long before its mass popularity spread throughout the UK, the US, and the rest of the world. The rapid rise of paper-based sudoku naturally led to the creation of further sudoku software where it was used on PCs, video games, phones, tablets, and kindles.

Today, sudoku is still one of the most popular pastime puzzles around the globe. Now, isn’t it time you start playing? Whether online or on your mobile device, several apps offer sudoku free games for novice and well-seasoned players. No matter whether you need something to do while waiting for your yoga class, passing the time on the train ride home, or looking for something to do while you eat your lunch, playing sudoku is a great way to stimulate your mind or relax.

Avoid the mindless scrolling of social media and activate your math skills.

Not all sudoku games are created equal, especially if you want to really get into it. Nothing, like keeping track of your progress or moving up in levels once you have completed a challenge, will keep your momentum growing. Some may lack these features, so look for apps and games with the following features:

  • Daily challenges where you can win trophies
  • Take part in Seasonal Events and win medals.
  • View statistics and track your progress
  • Enable Auto-Check to see your mistakes as you go
  • Take notes to keep track of possible numbers.
  • Choose one of the three looks, and even play in the dark.
  • Highlight duplicates to avoid repeating numbers in a row, column, or block
  • Hints to guide you when you get stuck

With thousands of sudoku free puzzles to explore, install sudoku.com today!

Samuel J. Morales

Beer geek. Tv trailblazer. Passionate internet practitioner. Gamer. Lifelong introvert. At the moment I'm working with tar in Africa. Spent 2001-2005 getting to know junk bonds in Minneapolis, MN. In 2008 I was marketing squirt guns in Naples, FL. Earned praised for my work selling pond scum in Minneapolis, MN. Set new standards for merchandising action figures in Miami, FL. Earned praised for my work implementing sock monkeys in Prescott, AZ.