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How To Solve Sudoku: A Step-by-Step Guide

Robin Wilson
Infinite Ideas
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Donald L. Vestal
, on

Sudoku has become the 00s equivalent of the Rubik's Cube: a puzzle foisted upon an unsuspecting public that thinks they are just having fun, when in fact, there are doing mathematics.  (And despite the fact that many Sudoku books insist that the puzzle requires no math, it is a mathematical puzzle!)  This book is a (brief) step-by-step guide to the art/science of solving sudoku puzzles. 

The author presents several basic procedures one can try in solving a puzzle: scanning rows, scanning columns, filling in gaps, three-in-a-line, twins and triplets.  And the procedures are demonstrated on actual Sudoku puzzles, so that the reader can follow along.  If you've spent any decent amount of time working on these puzzles, then you have probably discovered these principles for yourself.  Personally, I find that discovering these tricks are the whole point of the exercise, so the book isn't for me.  But if you're interested in learning these tricks, or want to see if maybe you missed some, you might enjoy this.  The book is aimed at a very general audience. 

The author also has an article on Sudoku in the January 2006 issue of FOCUS.

Donald L. Vestal is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Missouri Western State University. His interests include number theory, combinatorics, and a deep admiration for the crime-fighting efforts of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He can be reached at

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