All over the world, sudoku books are flying off the shelves. The addictive logic game, originated in the UK and popularized in Japan, has spread across the globe. The puzzles are now run in daily newspapers throughout Europe and Asia and the mania for sudoku has just now reached American shores. The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the New York Post and some 60 US newspapers have jumped on the bandwagon. Sudoku may, like the crossword puzzle, stay a lifetime or it may be the meteor-like phenomenon of 2005, but one thing is clear: THE BOOK OF SUDOKU #1 and THE BOOK OF SUDOKU #2 are the first books of their kind to hit the States, and the simplest introductions to the puzzle. A third book is coming soon!
The rules to sudoku, as with all great puzzles, are deceptively simple and easy to understand. A puzzle of reasoning and logic, there are no mathematics no adding or subtracting involved, which is not to say that sudoku won t stretch your brain a bit.
The sudoku board consists of a 9 x 9 grid that has been subdivided into 9 smaller boxes of 3 x 3 squares. Simply fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. Each puzzle has a logical and unique solution. Depending on your skill and experience, as with a crossword puzzle, a sudoku puzzle can be solved anywhere from only 10 minutes to half an hour.
Puzzlers love the thrill of spotting a number sequence, arriving at a deduction, and the happy sense of completion that comes with unraveling a puzzle and then trying again! Sudoku is fun, challenging, and addictive. In fact, Apple Computer s latest operating system offers a sudoku grid as a dashboard widget, and is destined to become the 21st century version of Minesweeper or Solitaire on computers.
Sudoku is a puzzle the book buyer will not want to put down. Start at the gentle level, work into moderate puzzles and the player soon craves the tough and even diabolical grids. THE BOOK OF SUDOKU #1 and #2 each contain over 132 puzzles, none of which have ever appeared before. All one needs is a logical mind, a pencil and an eraser.
If still daunted, compiler Michael Mepham, who introduces each volume, provides not only the game s background, but also an easy tutorial that will turn the novice into a sudoku expert within minutes.
MICHAEL MEPHAM is a veteran puzzle compiler and is perhaps best known as the man behind The Daily Telegraph s Weekend giant general knowledge crossword puzzle in London.