Sudoku has been identified as a classic meme - a mental virus that spreads from person to person across national boundaries. The puzzle is using our brains to multiply across the world.

Sudoku consists of 81 squares, divided into nine blocks of nine squares each. Some squares contain a number. The goal is to fill in the empty squares so that the figures 1 to 9 appear just once in every row, column, and individual block. The puzzle does not require general knowledge or mathematical skill.


So you thought Sudoku came from the Land of the Rising Sun ...

  • In 1783, a Swiss mathematician made 'Latin Squares,' which was described as magic squares.
  • The Dell Puzzle Magazine published the puzzle Number Place in the late 1970s.
  • As Dell continued to publish the puzzle through the Eighties quietly, it was imitated and embraced in Japan. Publisher Nikoli made two small improvements and renamed it Sudoku. 'Su' means a number, and 'doku' translates as singular.


In 1997, Wayne Gould, a man from New Zealand, was visiting Tokyo. While he was browsing a bookstore, he saw the squares and felt tempted to fill them in. Over the next six years, he developed a computer program that instantly makes up Sudoku puzzles.

Gould's wife published one of his puzzles in the local newspaper. It spread to Britain and was published in the Times, where it took off.



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