Note: This article is meant for those who have never heard of the game.
Getting to grips with Sudoku
Although it has a Japanese name, Sudoku in its modern form was actually created by an American, Howard Garns, in 1979 and published by Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place".
Its Japanese name came into being only in 1986 when it became popular in Japan. Since 2005, however, it has gained international fame and is now played in over 70 countries.
For those who have never heard of it let me give you the broad outlines of the game.
You are given, for example, 9 boxes each of which has got 9 slots for you to fill up with the numbers 1 to 9.
In fact unlike other games, the rules of Sudoku (if you consider the three conditions as three different rules) can be summed up in just one sentence and that is:
Every row, every column, and every box must contain the digits 1 to 9 (and since there are 9 slots in a box each number can only appear once).
You have to use your powers of deduction, reasoning
and logic to succeed in doing this. It doesn't involve mathematics (the proof being that instead of numbers you can use the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I or nine different colours) so it makes no difference if you're weak in maths to be able to succeed in this game.
One very important point to remember is that you only mark a number in pen when you're 100% certain that there is no other number that can fit in there. When you're not sure always mark it with a pencil as one single mistake will make the whole grid unplayable (since the mistake will prove to be a red herring). Besides by pencilmarking it, you will be able to put the puzzle aside and return to it another day.
When you start you have before you a grid with a number of digits already filled in, as you can see from the table below: