History Of Sudoku - Electronic Puzzles
early days 1783 - 1979
The history of soduko (Japanese: sūdoku) begins with the Swiss mathematician
Leonhard Euler who in 1783 invented Latin Squares - N x N grids which have all
numbers from 1 to N appearing exactly once in each row and column.
japan 1984 - current day
The puzzle was introduced in Japan by Nikoli in the paper Monthly Nikolist in April 1984 as "Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru (数字は独身に限る)", which can be translated as "the numbers must be single" or "the numbers must occur only once" (独身 literally means "single; celibate; unmarried"). The puzzle was named by Kaji Maki (鍜治 真起), the president of Nikoli. At a later date, the name was abbreviated to Sudoku (数独, pronounced sue-do-koo; sū = number, doku = single); it is a common practice in Japanese to take only the first kanji of compound words to form a shorter version.
In 1986, Nikoli introduced two innovations which guaranteed the popularity of the puzzle: the number of givens was restricted to no more than 30 and puzzles became "symmetrical" (meaning the givens were distributed in rotationally symmetric cells). It is now published in mainstream Japanese periodicals, such as the Asahi Shimbun.
In 1989, Softdisk Publishing published DigitHunt on the Commodore 64, which was
apparently the first home computer version of Sudoku. At least one publisher
still uses that title.
sudoku craze in europe
At the end of 2004 Wayne Gould, a retired Hong Kong judge as well as a puzzle
fan and a computer programmer, visited London trying to convince the editors of
The Times to publish soduko puzzles. Gould, that had written a computer program
which generates soduko puzzles of different difficulty levels, demanded no money
for the puzzles. The Times decided to give it a try and on November 12, 2004
launched their first soduko puzzle.
Today there are soduko clubs, chat rooms, strategy books, videos, card games, competitions and even a soduko game show. Soduko has also sprung up in newspapers all over the world and is commonly described in the world media as "the Rubik's cube of the 21st century" and as the "fastest growing puzzle in the world".