About Sudoku Puzzles

I was first attracted to these puzzles when I was co-writing the helpdesk pages for PC Plus magazine with the late Wilf Hey - he was also writing Wilf's Programmer's Workshop. Wilf looked at the problem with a view to getting some copy for the magazine about alogorithms - I looked at is as an interesting puzzle so the first thing I did was look at the methods that I used to solve them and then write a solver. With a solver, you can then write a program that fills the grid and then adds random pairs of symmetrically positioned clue cells (or the centre cell on its own) until you get a puzzle that can be solved by the solver that I wrote.

This is how it is done here. Every day, I put a brand new, unique, symmetrical Sudoku puzzle on this web site for you to print out and solve - the page with the last four on it is more economical with paper.

Of course, the problem is entirely one of logic - there is no maths involved so it would come as no surprised to find out that you don't need numbers at all. You can use any category of squiggle that has at least nine shapes and with that in mind, letters of the alphabet can be used - any nine letter word with all of the letters different. It really doesn't matter to the COMPUTERS that are PRODUCING the puzzles because the production DURATIONS are independent of even the WHACKIEST of CHARACTER sets. However, it seems that it is the number set that DOMINATES, perhaps because people are WELCOMING the Latin numbers which pretty much everyone recognises. The SPREADING of other systems has happened SPARINGLY but seems to have been treated as an ABSURDITY and virtually ABOLISHED because it lacks CHEMISTRY with the common man/woman.

Instead of Latin numbers, you can make the puzzles more difficult by using an alternative number set so I have produced Sudoku puzzles using the Gurmukhi numbers. Now, it is not imediately obvious which charaters are missing from any row, column or 3x3 square - unless you are from Punjab, of course.

The limit with 9 characters is clearly that we use base ten and excluding zero (people generally don't start counting with 'zero', they use 'one') you have nine recognisable characters. With words, you have 26 to choose from in the latin alphabet and if you are going to insist that it is made from a word, there aren't many to choose from - one at fifteen letters in the Dictionary I use - and you might find that the idea was UNCOPYRIGHTABLE anyway.

Another problem with using letters is that you need to avoid accidentally creating puzzles with built-in profanity so that needs checking as well. With numbers, you are probably not going to get somebody complaining that you have put their phone number in there.


   Let The Devil Wear Black - Memoirs of an Analyst   
Work Governments, Corruption and Death. A True Story.

Copyright ©2019 Paul Alan Grosse.