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20 June 2006



The links to the previous posts aren't quite right. Here's the first: http://ddc.typepad.com/025431/2005/08/great_new_way_t.html

Giles Martin

Thom -- Thanks, I got a bit confused in setting up the links, but I've corrected them in the article, and I think they are right now.


Thanks for the shoutout to NCFC the other day, Giles! But of course it was always going to be The Sudoku Question that would finally wake me from post-Manor reverie. Here's my take on the latest news: Noooooooooo! Don't believe the hype! Sure, some people write about "the mathematics of sudoku" just as you can imagine other people writing about "the mathematics of chess." That doesn't make either sudoku or chess mathematical recreations. The class number in question is not being assigned to works on this "mathematics of sudoku"; it's being assigned largely to works that comprise lots of suduko puzzles. And the bottom line is: When you solve a sudoku puzzle in the normal way, you don't do anything that would normally be construed as mathematical. Sure, you can analyze the setting or solving of sudoku (or chess) puzzles mathematically. That doesn't make the act of solving sudoku (or chess puzzles) in the normal way a mathematical recreation. Sudoku is a logic puzzle, and logic puzzles go in 793.73. To cite "Mathematical logic" as part of mathematics is a red herring. Mathematical logic does not approximate the whole of logic. If it did, then presumably we would be want to class all logic puzzles in 793.74. But it doesn't and we don't! The distinction between logic and mathematics may well be a "fine line" (as Thom says), but so long as it's a line that Dewey continues to draw (in this case between logic puzzles and mathematical puzzles), then how can we possibly class sudoku -- a puzzle which requires no knowledge of any mathematical concepts to solve -- as a mathematical rather than a logical recreation?


Agreed. I've been playing Sudoku almost non-stop ever since a friend introduced it to me last Christmas. The game would play just as easily if you used sets of letters, shapes, or colors instead of numbers. It's a logic game.


I think that Kakuro is much more interesting than sudoku beacuse that shapes change all the time!

Free Jigsaw

I disagree because to do Sudoku you have to use addition to complete each square. That means its a mathmatical problem!

Domo Sudoku

I don't think sudoku is a real math game. You just place numbers in a logical sequence.

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