"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Into that heaven of freedom it should be our intent. ( my adaption from Rabindranath Tagores famous lines)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sudoku -What is it ?

SODUKU - What is it
For anyone who doesn't know, it's a puzzle now found in most newspapers, books and online. A simple-looking grid of nine rows by nine, split into nine boxes, each containing nine squares, it looks like just another numbers game. Almost every newspaper carries this game now and already it is on cellphones and TV and recently introduced as a board game. It's the latest craze and it is addictive ! Addicts are as obsessed as 1980s teenagers fixated on the Rubik's cube. The internet is awash with chat about Su Doku and programmers are tapping away to find the best system for creating and solving the puzzles. Before I go further into this I quote from the 2 great mathematicians:

"Puzzles and Paradoxes have been popular since antiquity, and, in amusing themselves with these playthings men have sharpened their wits and whetted their ingenuity. But it was not for amusement alone that Kepler, Pascal, Fermat, Leibnitz, Euler, Lagrange, Cayley and many others devoted so much time to puzzles. Researches in Recreational Mathematics were guided by the same principles and required the same faculties as the researches leading to the most profound discoveries in mathematics or science. (Edward Kasner & James R. Newman)"

Again, Wait on. It is nothing to do with Mathematics. Even illiterates can solve them. Sudoku is not a mathematical or arithmetical puzzle. It works just as well if the numbers are substituted with letters or some other symbols, but numbers work best.

SUDOKU _ How to solve.
It is very simple. Fill in the blanks in the 9 x 9 Grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the digit 1 thru 9. There is no math involved. Nothing has to add up to anything else. You solve the puzzle through logic and reasoning. The puzzle rewards Applied Logic as it encourages you to apply the principles of deduction and induction. It is simple and yet fiendish and once played, utterly addictive. If you just try guessing you wont get very far, I assure you !


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