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## 3 Common Myths About Sudoku

Sudoku (literally meaning “odd number”) is now one of the most popular puzzles that entertain people of all ages. While it can be confusing when you try to solve one, it has a way of getting you addicted, and over time you’ll spend hours and hours playing it. In fact, it’s slowly stealing the spotlight from the crosswords we all grew up with.

The name of the puzzle sounds strange and can be a source of various misconceptions. So, for this article, we’re going to look at some of the common myths associated with it and clear things up once and for all.

**Myth number one: Sudoku was invented by the Japanese.**

It’s a known fact that this puzzle has been popular in Japan for 25 years since Nikoli, a local puzzle publishing giant, introduced it to the country’s readers. However, the Japanese did not invent it. Sudoku traces its roots to the West. A late 19th century Swiss mathematician, Leonhard Euler, is credited with inventing the concept of having a square grid where symbols are placed in the squares with the restriction that each symbol appears only once in each row and column . This was known as the “Latin Square” and is considered the father of the modern Sudoku puzzle. Back then, it wasn’t meant for entertainment, but for statistical and mathematical calculations.

Two hundred years later, Howard Garns, a retired architect from Indiana, took the Latin Squares concept and created what he called the Number Place puzzle, which was published in 1979 by Dell Magazines. Garns’ creation was improved by Nikoli, a Japanese puzzle publisher, and became the Sudoku puzzle we know today.

**Myth number two: Sudoku requires advanced math**

When people see a Sudoku puzzle, the first thing that comes to mind is math. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the population either fears or hates math and went out of their way to avoid it in school. This is the reason given by most of those who are new to the puzzle why they would rather not play it. Sudoku has nothing to do with mathematics or the use of any mathematical equations. You may see the numbers 1-9 placed in the squares and grids, but numbers aren’t the only thing that can be used for the puzzle. Its parent, Latin squares, used to contain Latin symbols rather than numbers. In fact, you can use any set of 9 symbols to replace numbers, for example, hieroglyphs, shapes, letters, colors, etc.

The only thing required in this puzzle is logic. Some people may argue with me and say that logic is within the domain of mathematics, but allow me to correct that misconception as well. In fact, logic gave birth to mathematics, not the other way around. So it is safe to say that mathematics cannot claim a monopoly on logic, and in fact the opposite is true.

**Myth number three: A sudoku puzzle can be solved with different solutions**

A well-constructed Sudoku puzzle can only have one solution. This is the norm and rule that cannot be broken. Without any exception. You may now be scratching your head thinking that this is not possible, as you may have been able to solve a puzzle and come up with a different solution than the one given by the creator of the puzzle. If this was the case, then the puzzle you solved was not constructed correctly and you may want to find another Sudoku puzzle editor to provide you with better puzzles.

However, it is a fact that there are about 5 billion possible Sudoku puzzles that use different grids. Amazingly, there are over six sextillion permutations available for correct answers. This means you won’t run out of puzzles to solve in your lifetime!

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