Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My History of Sudoku (数独, sūdoku)

Today I discovered my article The history of Sudoku, written and published mid August 2005, is honored as the fifth on Wikipedia's Sudoku article reference list ('Galanti, Gil. The History of Sudoku. Retrieved on 2006-10-06'). It means I'll have to put some more work into it keeping it updated, but at the same time I should say this is an online form of poetic justice!

Being totally fascinated by the emerging of Wikipedia in those days, and having done a comprehensive research about the subject, I was trying to contribute some of my findings to this article. Yet, I quickly found out that Sudoku has already became "too popular" and the people editing this article had to cope with millions of "contributions" by commercially interested elements. Thus, everything I posted there, no matter how short, interesting or new, was simply gone with the wind after less than 24 hours. I guess thats one of the bummer parts of being a famous puzzle :)

I took the opportunity and got myself updated with some new stuff published in the Wikipedia article. For example, I think Howard Garns - now claimed to be the person who actually made the first Sudokus in 1979 (published by Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place") is new. I need to update my article.

The official Wikipedia Sudoku blurb is now:
Sudoku (数独, sūdoku) is a logic-based number placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9x9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid.

Completed Sudoku puzzles are a type of Latin square, with an additional constraint on the contents of individual regions. Leonhard Euler is sometimes incorrectly cited as the source of the puzzle, based on his work with Latin squares.

The modern puzzle was invented by an American, Howard Garns, in 1979 and published by Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place".It became popular in Japan in 1986, after it was published by Nikoli and given the name Sudoku, meaning single number. [3] It became an international hit in 2005.

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