Sudoku Theory

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There is a surplus of sudoku books available at most bookstores. They all have one thing in common: they have a zillion puzzles, sometimes prefaced with a scant 2-3 pages of how-to. The how-to is usually not much more than a route set of rules to follow, with little real explanation. Books that actually get into the theory, logic, and design are virtually nonexistent. I have my own skeptic reasons for why this is the case–similar to the “give the man a fish vs. teach a man to fish” line of reasoning. Why give out the secret to creating sudoku when you can instead create a bunch yourself, bind them in books, and sell a bunch of different books?

Some time, in recent memory, I did see a book up on a shelf that did get into the mathematical theory of sudoku as well as algorithms for creating puzzles. Unfortunately, I do not remember where it was, what the title was, or who the author was. Amazon searches have found exactly one book, primarily focused on Visual Basic. The reviewers are a bit critical of the methodologies (solving by brute force, creating using only 4 strategies), and I’d really rather not have to mentally translate VisualBasic to any of the C-based languages that are available to me (C, C++, Java, PHP, etc.)

There has to be a decent book on the subject out there. I just cannot seem to find it.

Posted in: Books Code

One thought on “Sudoku Theory”

  1. Like NetNinja, I too become frustrated with the lack of sharing on the Sudoku front. It is a part of the moving edge of our culture: the creation of Sudoku puzzles of varying difficulty levels … calling for the use of different planned ploys to be used in their solution … at present, remains a hidden art.
    I’m getting on a bit, and see the mental manipulations involved in solving Sudoku rather than the production of finished puzzles as the thing: something like, the journey being more valuable than arriving. I understand that pre-Alzheimer’s people would rather sense their brains doing loop-the-loops in locating “candidate numbers” in ‘Easy’ puzzles as being more beneficial to them than having their grey matter seize to a halt failing to locate candidates in ‘Medium’ puzzles.
    I plan to research the idea of Sudoku as an anti-dementia ploy, but am not sure if something like “Lumosity” would do a better job of keeping the little grey cells active and alive.
    Like some of the Sudoku exploiters, I would like to publish my own ‘hand crafted’ puzzle under a title such as, “Sudoku to Defeat ‘Senior Moments’ “. But I would also wish to publish my guide to the hand-crafting of Sudoku as well!
    No, I am not aiming to become a Sudoku Master capable of solving all Sudoku puzzles: I prefer the thrill of discovery for myself, new ploys in finding numbers than the grind of crunching a whole arrays of possible candidate numbers. I get more enjoyment out of using mind and memory locating ‘candidates’ in clean ‘Easy’ puzzles devoid of subscript numbers: I’d say the ‘in the head’ approach is more satisfying to me than the much belaboured ‘paper jotting’ method.

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