An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Saturday, 13 August 2005

Latin squares (aka Sudoku)

Sudoku (aka Su Doko, Sudoko, Soduko), is the latest craze to hit the UK. I first came across it about six months ago in a Times newspaper. The six out of the top 40 best sellers in The Guardian's bestseller's list are all Sudoko books! The concept is fiendishly simple: there is a 9 × 9 grid which is split up into nine smaller 3 × 3 grids, all the 3 × 3 grids, rows and columns must contain all nine numbers.

Sudoko apparently came to the
UK via Japan. However, it was first invented by the Swiss Leonard Euler around 1798, though he called it Latin squares. Euler was an extraordinary and prolific mathematican, see the Euler archive. He was also a committed Christian. Dan Graves in his Scientists of Faith has this to say of Euler:

Euler retained his firm Calvinist beliefs throughout life, holding daily prayer and worship in his home and sometimes preaching.

cited here.

It rather ironic that The Independent newspaper boasts that no mathematics is needed to solve it! I think they are getting confused with maths and arithmetic; there is a lot of maths going on! See here for example.

There are a number of Sudoko solvers on the web; books on how to solve them by, for example, Robin Wilson and Carol Voderman; as well as books of them; and there is no shortage Sudoko puzzles on-line to have a go at.


codeshepherd said...

hey, try this free online color coded sudoku puzzle solver with timer, pencil, graph, hints, multiple difficulty level etc at

Glenn Westmore said...

One of the oldest known Latin Squares is the Sator Square. This Square was supposedly found amongst the ruins of Pompeii in the volcanic ashes resulting Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, pressed in clay or carved in stone. Read more about it on my blog: