Showing posts with label puzzles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puzzles. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Color Pic-a-Pix Light Vol 1: Solve the Puzzle and Discover a Beautiful Pixel-Art Picture

The object in this new game from Conceptis is to reveal a hidden picture by painting blocks according to the rules. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Rules are pretty simple: Each row and column should be painted so their length, color and sequence corresponds to the clues, and there is at least one empty square between adjacent same-color blocks. It is allowed to have no empty square between adjacent different-color blocks.

How to play

Select the color you wish to use and click the desired square in the grid. First mouse click fills a square, second mouse click displays a dot to indicate the square is blank and third click brings the square back to its original state. Multiple squares may be filled or blanked by dragging the mouse.

Play Color Pic-a-Pix Light Vol 1

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Nonogramm: First German-Speaking Picture Logic Magazine

Nonogramm Picture Logic magazine launched in Germany, Switzerland and Austria by Rätsel Agentur Schweiz

Looking for beyond-Sudoku experience? Nonogramm, the first German-speaking magazine dedicated to Picture Logic puzzles, was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Raetsel Agentur Schweiz on December 6, 2007. Nonogramm is the second magazine in Das Auge (The Eye) series targeted at puzzle fans looking for more-satisfying puzzles than Sudoku. The 36-page magazine contains 60 Pic-a-Pix, 5 Link-a-Pix and 4 Fill-a-Pix puzzles all sourced from Conceptis and is published every two months. Subscriptions to Nonogramm available at


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Scrabulous on Facebook: 480K Daily Active Users in 6 Months. Some guys just never listen.

Scrabulous on FaceBook

The idea to put the game on Facebook to broaden their reach was brought up - not a surprise - by one of their users. It was early June when the folks at wrote to Hasbro in an attempt to make sure there will be no copyright infringement issues if they do that. According to CNet Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, software developers and brothers in Calcutta, India, never heard back from the International toy giant. The Agarwallas released their Scrabulous on Facebook at the end of June targeting 2,600 users. Within weeks, the Scrabulous application had 20,000 users. Today, six months later, the Scrabulous counter says "480,273 daily active users, 23% of total".

A new version of the game was released by the Scrabulous brothers last weekend aiming to improve performance. Additional "coming soon" features include; Word Meanings (clicking to see the meaning of the last word); more language dictionaries; optional notes area below the board titled Scribble Pad; Improved Statistics and, of course, a touch of web 2.0 spirit in the form of Buddy Option, allowing adding opponents to buddy lists.

I have never been a huge fan of Scrabble and word puzzles. This story is more about Hasbro and large corporations in general than it's about Scrabulous and the Agarwallas. Some guys just never listen. And there will always be someone who does.

Scrabulous on FaceBook

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consumers Perceive Mobile Phones as Puzzle and Casual Gaming Devices

People are not so much into playing real PC like games on their mobile phones but apparently they love the idea of using them for solving puzzles and playing other casual games. According to a new report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, consumers perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices with puzzle and card games at the top of the list. Amazingly, less than 10 percent of on-the-go Internet gamers say they are interested with core or console-centric games for their mobile phone comparing to 55 percent who "want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones"

Furthermore, Director of Broadband and Gaming at Parks Associates Yuanzhe Cai predicts this will be the trend in the near future as well as “New 3D and multiplayer mobile games look great in demos, but casual games are where the money is and will be for the next few years.”

Parks Associates: Mobile Phone Remains a Casual Gaming Platform

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jay is Games: Casual, Flash and Puzzle game reviews

It was just a while ago when I mentioned how there are many signs that logic puzzles are making their way to mainstream media. It was just until about three years ago that language independent logic puzzles where still an offstream hobby of a few westerns but today they seem to be a legitimate segment within the growing casual game industry. Take Jay is Games for example. Other than running their own IRC server at and channel at #casualgameplay (which show these folks are extremely cool) this website is also ranked within Technorati's top 5000 destinations and is definitely one of the best casual game reviewers on the web. It might not be the NY Times, but if it's the latest Flash and or casual game review you are after, user friendly walkthroughs, room escapes, point and clicks or anything else falling into the wide definition of casual games, this site has it.

With tones of puzzle game references and a respected pool of logic puzzle oriented material this bloglike function-rich website is good not just in keeping a hand on the pulse of casual gaming industry as well as very few others do, but in smartly supporting their way up to the crowded green area of public attention. A brilliant "add this game to your website" feature allowing easy embedding action of every game reviewed on the site is just one - actually my favorite - example.

This morning I was informed by an avid Conceptis member about this kindly phrased reference to Conceptis on jayisgames' recent link dump post. Personally, I already knew there are very few websites out there doing both printable and online number and picture logic puzzles for free as we do them in but having this said by JohnB of is a very nice achievement for anyone in the industry. Much obliged JohnB.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Japanese Puzzles by Hands-On Mobile: are Paint-by-Number puzzles going mainstream?

Seven years ago when I started collaborating with Dave Green and Conceptis, the company had just this one picture logic puzzle type they called Pic-a-Pix and it only came with black and white pictures. It was year 2000 but in the west no one had a clue what we were talking about when we showed him our samples. It was a long way from that point to nowadays when eleven puzzle families, dozens of variants and hundreds of different puzzle models are published in more than 30 countries across the world. This includes Japan, where Pic-a-Pix and other other picture logics as Link-a-Pix and Fill-a-Pix are published by G-Mode (Japan's leading mobile phone game provider).

As opposed to Japan, In the west picture logic puzzles are still a rare product when it comes to mobile but, along with Sudoku becoming the world's most popular puzzle, even this is starting to change and people become much more familiar with other language independent puzzle types. It seems that the way for the world to realize Sudoku is a very boring game comparing to some other logic puzzles is getting shorter every day. Take Hands-On Mobile, for example, a developer of connected games and applications that released a mobile game package earlier this week dedicated to what they refer to as "Japanese Puzzles".

Following-up on their claimed to be successful Sudoku Garden game from 2006, the new mobile puzzle package includes both Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles as well as some Paint-by-Number puzzles, also known as Pic-a-Pix, Nonograms, Griddlers and in this case referred to as "Tenpenki".

Hands-On Mobile's Japanese Puzzles seem to be a feature rich application and claimed to support:

  • Multi-player puzzling of up to four players competing against each other wirelessly.
  • Up to nine pencil marks
  • Hint lookup
  • Beginner tutorial mode
  • Back statistics for skill improvement monitoring
  • Save solution status and reload later
  • Voyage mode allows players to take on all three games and unlock more content
  • Access to additional content by downloading new puzzles every day and by competing for the fastest time against other puzzle fans from around the world.

According to Eric Hobson, President and General Manager EMEA, Hands-On Mobile “the puzzle sector is a vast market, and one where demand still exceeds supply.” I agree with that claim and, even though you might say Mr. Hobson and myself are in a way competitors in the market, I would like to wish him success with his new game. Picture logic puzzles as his Japanese Puzzles Tenpenki are on their way to consensus and mainstream entertainment and there will be enough business for everyone.

Hands-On Mobile

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shendoku: Shen Kua style sociable Sudoku project

Shendoku is a "Sociable Sudoku" multi player game of "skills, bluffing and cunning". The concept for the game originated with an educational project researching the Chinese mathematician, astronomer and inventor Shen Kua and the play reminds the famous Battleships game. According to "the development team decided to put themselves in the shoes of Shen Kua, an avid game player, and try to extrapolate what he would make of SuDoku."

Shendoku (all right, SHENDOKU™...) is not just an online project but also consisting with some books, some in the production stage and with the first book: SHENDOKU™ (ISBN 978-1-84728-627-7), already available to order from bookshops or at Amazon. The folks from shendoku .com says more books will be made available first through the SHENDOKU™ shop which is not working for some reason at the moment.

Rorohiko (all right, Rorohiko™...) a company specializing in Adobe InDesign® tools are the developers behind the Shendoku™ single player game which apparently use InDesign generators and some "other programs". Oh yes, Shendoku is still a Beta game and thus only available for evaluation and feedback on the Rorohiko website. It is claimed to be offered soon on Gideon Grinspan's WebSudoku where you will also be able to purchase eBook games. so in the meantime you can download this free eBook with instructions and a free sample.
Official Shendoku blog at

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kids Logic puzzles: Brain-training the next generation

As I promised last Thursday in my article about and braintraining getting a hotter trend in the west I would like to follow-up on what I said about how sometimes things just tend to "sort out on their own" and what this post from Sharpbrains was just perfect for me for, so her it is, just in case you are not a regular visitor to Conceptis Free Weekly Puzzles section or one of the company's publishers across the world:

The most dominant player in the international puzzle publishing market has announced a new line of logic puzzle families this Friday. Branded as "Kids Logic" the new set of intellectual activity games is designed to have positive impact on children's cognitive skills, logic deduction, concentration and eye-to-hand coordination. At this point Kids Logic puzzles are only available to Conceptis publishers. Yet, the official Kids Logic publisher section is open for visitors and offers this zip with a few free samples. Other than this we'll just have to wait for some publishers to get on with it and make some publications available.

Proper disclosure: this new product line was co-developed by my wife, Nitsan, and I have the pleasure and honor to be serving as Conceptis marketing officer. Thus, this post can hardly be taken as an objective journalism item :) This said, and as you may already know, I am a (new...) father myself and as such find the new line of children brain training products to be very exciting. I really just can't wait until Carmel can try them! So, even though I am far from being objective here, I do think that if you have any children you should check this out. Following is the official press release from Conceptis. Please feel free to leave your comments here if you have any.

Free samples zip here

With eleven Picture and Number logic puzzle families for teens and adults, Conceptis announced Kids Logic - a third line of puzzle families targeted at children ages 5 to 12. Conceptis’ Kids Logic consists of different fun to solve puzzles and activities which at the same time develop cognitive skills, logic deduction, concentration and eye-to-hand coordination.

Conceptis’ Kids Logic consists mostly of new puzzle inventions never seen before as well as some popular puzzle concepts improved by Conceptis. The first release includes five puzzle families: Paint-by-Blocks, Paint-by-Symmetry, Paint-by-Dots, and the kids versions of Maze-a-Pix and Dot-a-Pix. More Kids Logic families such as Paint-by-Arrows, Paint-by-Areas and Paint-by-Symbols will be released in 2008.

Thursday, November 8, 2007 braintraining is here, and is hot.

The amazing popularity of Nintendo's Brain Age and its sequel which has been a genuine phenomenon in Japan helped Nintendo DS to "revitalize the Japanese game market."selling roughly 5.7 million copies in Japan in just over a year. Yet, today, everybody knows already that the recent Japanese braintraining trend already migrated from Japan to the West. The new line of braintraining games on Miniclip, a bunch braintraining websites in Google's results and of course Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training activities, officially associated with the Nintendo game are just a few of the clues in this logic puzzle. Braintraining is hot.

As my work with Conceptis includes some research and digging for this kind of information on a regular basis, one of the good sides about this the braintraining trend is that, somehow, it helped scientific papers dealing with the the subject to suddenly emerge, or at least float on the surface of the collective knowledge available on the Internet. This whole new line of new scientific documentation prove what we always knew but didn't have any decent source to quote and support us: Exercising our brains systematically is as important as exercising our bodies and brain training games and puzzles can improve mental capabilities and health in people of any age. It can even help with pain, as already posted on this blog before.

Check out this amazing website at and their official blog, both picked-up in my Conceptis research today. provide individuals, companies and institutions with science-based information and guidance for Brain Health and Fitness. Wow. Sometimes everything goes the difficult path. Sometimes things just tend to sort out on their own. This post was just perfect for me.

Tomorrow you'll know what for.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thomas Snyder is the first Sudoku National Champion in USA

The the first U.S. Sudoku National Championship was won by Sudoku's reigning world champion, Thomas Snyder, who completed the "advanced" section in seven minutes, eight seconds - about three minutes ahead of his nearest rival - took home the first prize of $10,000 and granted a spot on the U.S. team at the World Sudoku Championship.

Snyder, 27, a postdoctoral student of bioengineering at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, a Harvard University PhD. in chemistry and an avid puzzle blogger, said he had been playing Sudoku and other puzzles since he was 5 years old and into "competitive puzzling" for the last 2.5 years.

More than 800 people have attended the the first U.S. Sudoku National Championship, a larger crowd than expected according to organizers, proving the enormous popularity of this number logic puzzle has not declined. Sponsored by Philadelphia Inquirer and hosted by American puzzle guru and media figure Will Shortz, the Championship was an opportunity for logic puzzle enthusiasts from across the United States to test their skills.

Philadelphia Inquirer says a survey they did last summer found 56% of U.S. population had already experienced solving Sudoku puzzles. Photos above are sourced from and courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer Sudoku National Championship. Congratulations Thomas!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hashi: innovative number-logic brainbreaker also known as Hashiwokakero

It's not every day that leading logic puzzle supplier Conceptis announces a new brainbreaker on their portfolio. This happened just this Friday as the company announced Hashi, its eleventh family of language independent logic puzzles. Hashi is an innovative bridge-connecting number-logic puzzle also known as Hashiwokakero (橋をかけろ Hashi o kakero; English: "build bridges!") and Bridges, invented by Nikoli Puzzles in Japan around 1990.

Starting October 12, four new Hashi puzzles are available every week in Conceptis' Free Weekly Puzzles section. Additional free Hashi including high-res solutions as the above very hard 20x26 model, are available from the official company catalog. Here are short instructions how to solve Hashi, taken from the Conceptis site:

"Each circle represents an island and the number in each island tells how many bridges are connected to it. The object is to connect between islands according to the number of bridges so that there are no more than two bridges in the same direction and there is a continuous path connecting all islands together. Bridges can only be vertical or horizontal and are not allowed to cross islands or other bridges."

According to Wikipedia, Hashi puzzles appeared in The Times and have also been published in English under the name Bridges or Chopsticks. In France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium Hashi puzzles are published under the name Ai-Ki-Ai. Hashi puzzles first appeared September 1990 in issue 31 of Puzzle Communication Nikoli in issue, although an earlier form of the puzzle appeared December 1989 in issue 28.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Rubik's Cube is back: 12M cubes going on the shelves this year

Japan's Yu Nakajima won the Rubik's Cube World Championships on Sunday in Budapest. According to AFP Nakajima averaged 12.46 seconds in arranging a six-sided classic 3x3 cube. The fastest single attempt was a cool 10.88 seconds, pretty close to the world record of 9.86 seconds. Hundreds of competitors from 32 countries took part in the three-day World Rubik's Cube Championship 2007 which took place in Budapest, Hungary on October 5-7, with prizes awarded in 17 categories.

If you happened to be in school during the eighties like I did you must remember the Rubik's Cube cult as a partially solved piece was pretty much in the hands of every boy and girl I knew. Today, with more than 300 million cubes sold overall and 12 million going on the shelves this year alone according to the World Championship organizers, it certainly look like this mechanical logic puzzle is experiencing a revival.

"You could see it spread around the world and it was great to watch. The fashion is back. There are young people who hadn't even been born then and are now discovering it for themselves." Gabor Koncz, director of the Hungarian Culture Foundation in Budapest told Bloomberg reporters last week just before the opening.

The Rubik's Cube was invented by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik in 1977 and became a world success in the early eighties. According to Wikipedia, Rubik is known to be a "very introverted and hardly accessible person, almost impossible to contact or get for autographs" and "typically refuses to attend speedcubing events". Yet, regardless of this statement being correct or not, things went pretty well for Rubik nevertheless and his phenomenal invention has already been exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art and entered into the Oxford dictionary.

I wonder if this spectacular revival of a mechanical logic game has anything to do with Sudoku becoming the world's most popular puzzle? Could it be that more people getting closer to their logic sides? I wonder what Dave Green from Conceptis, and a few of my other friends who have been evangelizing intellectual entertainment and logic puzzles for years, would have to say about that.

Official Rubik's Cube website
Full coverage list
ABC 2007 Championship Photo album

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Puzzles as pain relievers

The History of mankind is full of references to our constant craving for painkillers but the history of pain research and modern pain treatment begins in the 1800s. it was only In the 1850's when Charles Gabriel Pravaz, a French surgeon, and Alexander Wood of Edinburgh independently invented the syringe that Injections of morphine were generally used for local pain. The first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia, shown in the above picture, took place in Boston on October 16, 1846.

According to Wikipedia a painkiller is any member of the diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain. Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems; they include paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as the salicylates, narcotic drugs as morphine, synthetic drugs with narcotic properties such as tramadol and more. There are some other classes of drugs, not normally considered as analgesics but still use to treat neuropathic pain syndromes but they are all drugs. It's got to be a drug.

Poppy: ancient pain relievers

Nevertheless, there are other forms of pain killers that do not fit to the above encyclopedic definition but still used by people as effective pain relievers. For example, have you ever considered puzzles and other casual games as pain relievers? A study conducted about a year ago shows many people do just that. The majority of casual games players, according to the study, are females typically playing the games as a form of stress relief while many of them add the games also provide good mental stimulation. Dr. Carl Arinoldo, a Stony Brook NY-based psychologist and expert on stress management who conducted the research, advocates them as a source of both stress relief and cognitive exercise:

“Casual word and puzzle computer games, such as ‘Bookworm’ and ‘Bejeweled’ can actually develop new cellular brain connections thereby helping to keep the healthy brain active and vital and by seriously attending to the word and puzzle games, people can control stress by cognitively ‘blocking out’ the negative stresses of the day and ultimately train themselves to do this more reflexively. Unlike traditional videogames that tend to over-stimulate while they engage our minds, casual games have a calming effect while still providing an acceptable level of distraction and entertainment.”

Among the findings of the survey were responses to questions regarding the location, duration and reasons for playing Survey findings included:

88% of players indicated they experienced stress relief from playing casual games and 74% cited mental exercise as a benefit; when asked to choose the most important reasons for playing, 41% picked “stress relief/relaxation,” more than twice the number (19%) who chose “entertainment”; 27% said the games provided distraction from chronic pain and/or fatigue, and fully 8% said they derived actual relief from chronic pain and/or fatigue.

The later is the most amazing figure of this research in my opinion. What could be better than reliving other people's pain? Casual computer games, defined for survey purposes as “puzzle, word, simple action/arcade and other family-friendly, non-violent games which can be played on computers and mobile devices.”

The above screenshot is a solution of a gigantic Pic-a-Pix puzzle, one of the most intriguing yet still unrevealed logic puzzles, made by Conceptis. If you ever tried solving one of those you know how much attention and distraction they are able to generate. The puzzle in the picture, as well as easier and smaller ones, can be downloaded or played online on Conceptis' website.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

From Sudoku to Number-Picture Hybrid magazines

Maxim Popov, Deputy EiC at Publishing Group Bauer Russia, talks about the introduction of 'beyond Sudoku' logic puzzles to Russian Sudoku audience. Sourced from
read more | digg story

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Conceptis 3: get your brain ready

If you like logic puzzles and teasing your brain with the highest quality of intellectual entertainment you might want to read further as well as check out again every now and then as I plan to start posting some updates on the subject discussed here.

The first version of, then under the domain name of, was conceived together with the birth of the new millennium in 2000. It was a very modest static brochure website showing the only puzzle Conceptis had back then - Pic-a-Pix. It was just only about two years later in June 2002 when the second version was launched, upgraded to a community supporting website.

Fueling our wildest dreams with hot oil

We thought we'll be satisfied but instead we started sharing thoughts about a futuristic super-website, an advanced online platform dedicated to logic puzzles. The enthusiastic responses we got from our members didn't help either. They were just fueling our wildest dreams with hot oil.

It was not until January 10, 2003, though, when the first plans for this super-website had started. At first we called it "Conceptis Club" but on February 12 we came up with the name My Conceptis as the title of the free puzzle club and named the whole project Conceptis 3, or in short C3.

Today, four and a half years after its first marketing requirement documents were written, we believe we are pretty close to launching this website, even though we don;t have any official date yet. I had the privilege of leading and coordinating this project during all this time. It was the hardest and most demanding mission I have ever taken on myself, putting aside being a parent but that only happened during the project and after getting married with its graphic designer. LOL :)

The above screenshot is the new site homepage and top puzzle family navigation system. Just like the rest of the site, this navigation derives from an advanced xml catalog containing all Conceptis puzzle genealogy structure. Thus it is being updated automatically with the addition of every new puzzle family. There is also has a child version for this element supporting the puzzle variants level.

In the meanwhile you can just enjoy the existing site ("C2") at

Technorati tags:  conceptis

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jigsaw puzzles of vintage comics, sci-fi and horror magazine covers

Brady's wooden jigsaw puzzle blog is a way for you to get a glimpse onto his "eccentric world of puzzle cutting". The above pictures - covers of old popular magazines - are offered by Brady as custom wooden jigsaw puzzles, cut from their high quality reproductions. With two optional sizes the puzzles are offered in 50 or 100 pieces configurations.

Aren't they cool? check out or just order one here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maze complexity and aesthetics: deep problems in computer graphics

Craig S. Kaplan is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Graphics Lab, The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Studying the use of computer graphics in the creation of geometric art and ornament, Professor Kaplan's interests extend into non-photorealistic rendering.

I happen know at least two high-end software engineers fighting similar research area and aware of some of its complexities and difficulties. Yet, Professor Kaplan's Maze Design is certainly one of the most spectacular amazing presentations of discrete geometry and non-photorealistic rendering techniques I have ever seen.

Creating computer generated mazes using human designer input, Professor Kaplan and his PhD student, Jie Xu, were interested in two complementary questions with respect to maze design: Complexity and Aesthetics. According to Kaplan computer-based maze design requires a mix of techniques from discrete geometry and non-photorealistic rendering. Thus, the two questions of complexity and aesthetics in mazes both represent profound problems in computer graphics.

Kaplan and Jie Xu were trying to answer the following questions:


"What makes a maze difficult to solve? The more we consider this question, the more elusive it becomes. It's certainly possible to begin defining mathematical measures of a maze's complexity, but complexity must depend on aspects of human perception as well. For example, the eye can easily become lost in a set of parallel passages. Complexity also depends on how the maze is to be solved. Are you looking down on the maze, solving it by eye? With a pencil? What if you're walking around inside the maze? And of course, complexity isn't necessarily what we want to measure. Ultimately we'd like to generate compelling puzzles, which may or may not have a high degree of complexity."


"How do we construct attractive mazes, particularly mazes that resemble real-world scenes? Here, maze design interacts with problems in non-photorealistic rendering. There are many great projects for producing line drawings from images. Our goal is similar, except that our lines must also contrive to have the geometry of a maze. This additional constraint affects how we think about creating a line drawing in the first place."

Also according to their page, mazes can be used to represent images in two different ways with the most obvious using non-photorealistic line art as in the fantastic examples by Christopher Berg and the less obvious as in the "great new Maze-a-pix puzzles being produced by Conceptis Puzzles".

Following are a few of those creations linked to their corresponding HUGE originals. Click on any of them to download a PDF or PNG of the maze from their website for solving on paper. If you are REALLY interested with the subject you can also download the full Vortex Maze Construction paper by Jie Xu and Craig S. Kaplan (be patient. it's a big one and might take time to download).

Note: All images are courtesy of and copyrighted (2005) by Jie Xu and Craig S. Kaplan. you are free to use any of the images for personal and non-commercial purposes but please check with the owners about any other uses.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Get the picture:

I was introduced to this cool new web2.0 venture
by a good blogger friend (thanks Boaz!). After having a glance I knew I just had to share this one with the rest of you.

Composed of people’s faces ("Get the picture") is a living mosaic of portraits which also preform as a classic web2.0 social network. Sign up with your real email address (verification required) fill in your personal details which will also be used for matching with similar profiles, read a short instruction about how to properly add your picture to become a part of this online art form.

You can bookmark any part of the puzzle using a "puzzle mark" and add comments and descriptions to this bookmark. The guys from openpuzzle claim there is also an option for publishing your puzzle marks on your website or blog but I have to admit I couldn't find it even though I red everything there was to read.
There is a search option for old classmates and people in your area but as there seem to be 516 members (from 14 countries...) on this cool website it don't make much sense as the moment.

Got the picture? its a great idea but as everything else it takes some time for every enterprise to gain its fans. even on the Internet. Join me on OpenPuzzle and add your photo too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My History of Sudoku (数独, sūdoku)

Today I discovered my article The history of Sudoku, written and published mid August 2005, is honored as the fifth on Wikipedia's Sudoku article reference list ('Galanti, Gil. The History of Sudoku. Retrieved on 2006-10-06'). It means I'll have to put some more work into it keeping it updated, but at the same time I should say this is an online form of poetic justice!

Being totally fascinated by the emerging of Wikipedia in those days, and having done a comprehensive research about the subject, I was trying to contribute some of my findings to this article. Yet, I quickly found out that Sudoku has already became "too popular" and the people editing this article had to cope with millions of "contributions" by commercially interested elements. Thus, everything I posted there, no matter how short, interesting or new, was simply gone with the wind after less than 24 hours. I guess thats one of the bummer parts of being a famous puzzle :)

I took the opportunity and got myself updated with some new stuff published in the Wikipedia article. For example, I think Howard Garns - now claimed to be the person who actually made the first Sudokus in 1979 (published by Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place") is new. I need to update my article.

The official Wikipedia Sudoku blurb is now:
Sudoku (数独, sūdoku) is a logic-based number placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9x9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid.

Completed Sudoku puzzles are a type of Latin square, with an additional constraint on the contents of individual regions. Leonhard Euler is sometimes incorrectly cited as the source of the puzzle, based on his work with Latin squares.

The modern puzzle was invented by an American, Howard Garns, in 1979 and published by Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place".It became popular in Japan in 1986, after it was published by Nikoli and given the name Sudoku, meaning single number. [3] It became an international hit in 2005.