** What Is Sudoku?**

“It’s never just a game when you’re winning” (George Carlin). Sudoku is a fun game often seen by people playing it on their way to work, in a classroom setting or in their rooms to pass the time. Sudoku is a number logic puzzle where a single player sorts out the numbers, 1 – 9, within each row or column. It is so that no number repeats in the same grid.

Sudoku, Su-ji wa dokushin ni kagiru, originated from Switzerland and was invented by an American architect named Howard Garns. After a couple of years falling 1979, Sudoku’s popularity worldwide skyrocketed from its’ popularity in Japan.

**Variants of Sudoku**

**Kakuro**

Kakuro or Cross Sums puzzle is similar to Sudoku because players explore the avenues of combinations and permutations. However, the difference is that Kakuro relies on mathematics to solve the puzzle.

When observing a standard Kakuro puzzle, it is composed of a blank grid with some clues in certain boxes. The goal that each player has (just like in Sudoku) is to utilize number 1-9 so that each horizontal block’s sum is equivalent to the clue on its’ left. Furthermore, no repeated numbers are allowed in each box.

**Futoshiki**

Futoshiki, Unequal, is a logic puzzle in which inequality symbols are utilized to figure out answers to the clues shown. A player’s goal is to fill up each square with a range of numbers that depends on the size of the grid.

To solve a Futoshiki puzzle, looking towards the inequality signs can help unravel the puzzle. An inequality sign can suggest whether a number in a square would be greater or less than the opposite number.

**Killer Sudoku**

All the regular rules of Sudoku apply to Killer Sudoku, however there are additional rules set in place. It is essentially a combination between Sudoku and Kakuro. In a board, there are highlighted portions that indicate ‘cages’ as well as the standard columns, rows and 3×3 regions.

Because each cage has a sum, a contender has to figure out what numbers add up to the sum of each cage in a grid. In addition, not a single number can repeat in each column, row and 3×3 region.

Some useful tips when attempting to play Killer Sudoku would be to focus on cages within the first box. Then target cages that have a the smallest sum.

**The Fun Begins**

If you are a fan of puzzles, there is a multitude of options to choose from. You can start off with the standard Sudoku puzzle. Then in the near future, move on to more complicated versions such as Kakuro, Killer Sudoku and Futoshiki. Most importantly, remember to have fun. There’s always a solution to every puzzle!