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The History of Sudoku

1. The modern game version
2. The way to develop your ability
3. The origin inventors
4. Conquering the British minds
5. Surprising appearance
6. The multinational invention
7. The author of game’s name
8. The captured world

A. Sudoku has a fascinating history. ’Su’ means number in Japanese, and ’Doku’ refers to the single place on the puzzle board that each number can fit into. Although its name is Japanese, the puzzle’s origins are actually European and American, and the game represents the best in cross-cultural fertilization. Unlike many games which spring from one culture and are then absorbed by others, Sudoku’s development reveals it to be a true hybrid creation.
B. The 18th century Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler apparently developed the concept of ’Latin Squares’ where numbers in a grid appear only once, across and up and down. In the late 1970s, Dell Magazines in the United States began publishing what we now call Sudoku puzzles using Euler’s concept with a 9 by 9 square grid. They called it Number Place, and it was developed by an independent puzzle maker, Howard Gardens.
C. In the mid-1980s, the president of Japanese puzzle giant Nikoli Inc., Mr.Maki Kaji, urged the company to publish a version of the puzzle that became a huge hit in that country. Nikoli gave the game its current name and helped refine it by restricting the number of revealed or given numbers to 30 and having them appear symmetrically. Afterwards the game became increasingly popular in Japan and started becoming a fixture in daily newspapers and magazines. D. Almost two decades passed before the game was taken up by The Times newspaper in London as a daily puzzle. This development was due to the efforts of Wayne Gould. Knowing that British newspapers have a long history of publishing crosswords and other puzzles, he promoted Sudoku to The Times in Britain. In autumn of 2004, he was able to convince The Times to start publishing daily Sudoku puzzles developed using his software. Within a few months, other British newspapers began publishing their own Sudoku puzzles.
E. Once again, Sudoku’s popularity crossed the ocean. By the summer of 2005, major newspapers in the United States were also offering Sudoku puzzles like they would daily crossword puzzles. It is interesting to note that while software is critical to being able to supply the growing demands for Sudoku puzzles, as it can take hours of processing time to generate one unique puzzle, it was old media in the form of newspapers that have done so much to encourage the spread of Sudoku around the world.
F. Sudoku software is very popular on PCs, websites and mobile phones. Software has also been released on video game consoles, such as the Game Boy Advance, Xbox Live Arcade, the Nooke-book reader, several iPod models and the iPhone. Critically and commercially well received, it generated particular praise for its Sudoku implementation and sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
G. Where this rapidly developing fad leads to, no one can tell. What is clear though is that Sudoku is a fun and challenging way for people of any age and culture to hone their logical and deductive abilities. Who knows, played often enough, Sudoku may help make the human race a tiny bit smarter.

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