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Definition of SUDOKU
: a puzzle in which several numbers are to be filled into a 9x9 grid of squares so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9
Origin of SUDOKU
Japanese sūdoku, short for sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru "the numerals must remain single" (i.e., the digits can occur only once)
First Known Use: 2004
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Puzzle in which numbers are filled into a grid subject to certain constraints. In its simplest form, sudoku consists of a 9 9 grid with numbers appearing in some of the squares. The object of the puzzle is to fill the remaining squares, using all the numbers 1–9 exactly once in each row, column, and the nine 3 3 subgrids. Sudoku is based entirely on logic, and the level of difficulty is determined by the quantity and positions of the original numbers.
The first known appearance of sudoku was in 1979 in a New York-based puzzle magazine, which called them Number Place puzzles. They next appeared in 1984 in a magazine in Japan, where they acquired the name sudoku (abbreviated from suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru, meaning the numbers must remain single). In spite of the puzzle's popularity in Japan, the worldwide sudoku explosion had to wait another 20 years.