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Sudoku Rules and Terminology

Rules and terminology

The puzzle is most frequently a 9x9 grid made up of 3x3 subgrids (called "regions"). Some cells already contain numbers, known as "givens". The goal is to fill in the empty cells, one number in each, so that each column, row, and region contains the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once. Each number in the solution therefore occurs only once in each of three "directions", hence the "single numbers" implied by the puzzle's name.

The attraction of the puzzle is that the completion rules are simple, yet the line of reasoning required to reach the completion may be difficult. Published puzzles often are ranked in terms of difficulty. This also may be expressed by giving an estimated solution time. While, generally speaking, the greater the number of givens, the easier the solution, the opposite is not necessarily true. The true difficulty of the puzzle depends upon how easy it is to logically determine subsequent numbers.

Sudoku is recommended by some teachers as an exercise in logical reasoning. The level of difficulty of the puzzles can be selected to suit the class. The puzzles are often available free from published sources and also may be custom-generated using software.

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