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Do You Do Sudoku ?

Though still a recent phenomena, Sudoku is old news. Yet, several people have asked why Sudoku has not been mentioned on this site. So, with this note, consider it mentioned.

The basic game board is a rectangular grid, formed by both individual square cells and 3x3 "boxes" of cells. Some of the cells are filled with single digits 1-9. Your task, if you are up to this sort of challenge, is to fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

Players beware...no mathematics is involved. Rather, the solution of the puzzle requires logic and reasoning.

The first Sudoku puzzle was published in Japan in 1979. By 1986, Sudoku had become a national fad throughout Japan, yet did not become popular internationally until this year (2005).

The movement has been phenomenal, with Sudoku puzzles now holding equal placement and attention in daily newspapers. Google "Sudoku" and you will be overwhealmed by the 15,500,000 hits. Browse many of the early hits, as they offer Sudoku puzzles of varying challenge levels, plus computer options for both creating and solving new puzzles on-line.

Search "Sudoku" on the Amazon site, and again be prepared to be overwhelmed. The 185 products available include books filled with a puzzle for each day, playing cards, a board game, and computer games. You know the game has arrived when you see someone has already written a book called "Sudoku for Dummies!"

As for myself, I was content to buy a Sudoku computer program via E-bay. Purchased from someone in England, it was low-cost ($5), does what I need (create and solve puzzles), and includes periodic updates at no cost.

What is the future of Sudoku? Its already offered daily on cell-phones. Perhaps shapes other that square grids? Three-dimensional Sodoku cubes? Or...? And, in case you are wondering, a on-line version of hamster Sudoku already exits.

Triggered by a movement in the United Kingdom, many people want to compete in tournaments in the solution of a Sudoku puzzle. The winner is the person who finds the unique solution in the least time. To regulate things, the International Sudoku Organisation (InSO) has been established to preside over Sudoku competitions, both in the UK and internationally.

I am aware that many people need their daily Sudoku fix. As to myself, I will stick with focusing on my daily crossword puzzle.