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Sudoku215 Puzzles from Beginner to Expert
By Marcel Danesi
WARNER BOOKSCopyright © 2006 Marcel Danesi
All right reserved.
IntroductionAt the beginning, of 2005 sudoku-mania took over the entire world, when virtually every newspaper in the world started carrying a sudoku puzzle on a regular basis. Shortly thereafter, bookstores and newsstands could not keep up with the demand for sudoku puzzle books (and they still can't). Why all the excitement? Why all the fuss? This book will show you why. But it comes with a disclaimer-it takes no responsibility if you too turn into a "sudoku addict"! And if you already are an addict, and cannot get enough sudoku, you will find plenty of puzzles here that will challenge you and provide you with hours of fun to feed your addiction.
How did it all start? A puzzle appeared in the May 1979 issue of the Dell Pencil Puzzles and Crossword Games magazine called "number place." It involved placing numbers in cells in a grid. No one knows for sure who invented it. An editor at the magazine named Howard Garns is believed to be its probable inventor. In 1984, an editor for Nikoli magazines in Japan came, by happenstance, across one of these number place puzzles. He loved it so much that he decided to put out a magazine devoted exclusively to his version of it, which he called sudoku. The term is an abbreviation ofSuji wa dokushin ni kagiru, which means, more or less, "only single numbers allowed." Two years later, it became a craze across Japan. In 1997, a retired judge from New Zealand, named Wayne Gould, saw a sudoku puzzle magazine while working in Hong Kong.
He too became fascinated by it and started making his own puzzles, eventually convincing The Times of London to print them. The newspaper did so for the first time in November 2004. By early 2005, sudoku became a craze in Britain as well, quickly spreading around the globe. Today, sudoku is a permanent feature of puzzle pages in newspapers alongside the ever popular crossword puzzle.
What Is Sudoku?
To solve sudoku, you do not need a dictionary, a library full of reference books, or any special type of knowledge. All you need is patience and the ability to think logically. Math is not needed. Sudoku depends on the art of pure logic, rather than on calculations. Each puzzle is a challenge because it has a unique solution.
Sudoku is laid out as a nine-by-nine cell grid:
Sudoku is a modern-day version of Euler's ingenious idea. What we have done above is placed numbers correctly in a box, or a three-by-three subsection of the sudoku grid.
About This Book
This book is designed to help you discover the "joys of sudoku." If you are new to sudoku, you'll find this book to be a training manual, giving you the opportunity to start from scratch and work your way up to expert level. There is, of course, a large element of logical thinking involved in solving sudoku puzzles. It is also true that without a basic understanding of how the logical thinking unfolds, and what techniques can be employed to enhance, rehearse, and sustain it, the chances are that the ability to solve sudoku puzzles with facility may not emerge in some people. As the great inventor Thomas Edison so aptly remarked: "Genius is 1% intelligence and 99% hard work." This book is designed to give the beginner in sudoku instruction and training in the basics. Developing the knack of solving sudoku puzzles, by the way, will give you an incomparable feeling of self-confidence.
The book is divided into five main parts: Part I contains three sections: the "rules of the game," a few warm-up versions, and, last, a sample sudoku puzzle solved in its entirety. The warm-up versions are really simplified sudoku puzzles that will show you how simple the reasoning required to solve sudoku really is. If you are already familiar with sudoku, you can skip this part. Part II contains 175 standard sudoku puzzles ordered from "beginner" to "expert." There are five chapters in this part, each consisting of 35 puzzles. In Part III, you will come across 40 modified versions, using letters and numbers, rather than just numbers. Part IV provides you with more information about sudoku and one final "gigantic" puzzle to solve. Answers to all puzzles are found in Part V.
There are myriad sudoku puzzle books out there, and you can get tons of sudoku puzzles on the Internet (which has over 30 million sites on sudoku, last time I checked!). So, what's different about this book, you might ask? It is different because it assumes no expertise at all and thus provides tips throughout and on occasion provides a brief "tutorial" on the structure of the puzzle. Consider this a guide to mastering the art of sudoku. Whether you are a beginner (called a minari in Japan) or a true master (called a sensei), you will find plenty here to keep you occupied. Enjoy!
Excerpted from Sudoku by Marcel Danesi Copyright © 2006 by Marcel Danesi. Excerpted by permission.
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