March 22, 2023

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# Maki Kaji, 69, the man behind the success of Sudoku, has passed away

The Japanese who ensured the success of the popular puzzle game Sudoku are gone. Maki Kaji was 69 years old and suffering from cancer. Japanese puzzle company Nikoli says, who was its founder. Nicoli praises him as Godfather of Sudoku.

Today, Sudoku is popular all over the world. Many newspapers print one each day. The puzzle consists of a grid of nine by nine squares. The idea is to use the numbers 1 through 9 only once in each vertical row and each horizontal row. The same goes for the nine smaller three-by-three-celled squares that you can split a Sudoku puzzle into.

The puzzle was probably invented by an American in 1979. Under the name Number Place it appeared in puzzle books from Dell Magazines. Kage said he discovered the mystery in 1984 In a speech given in 2008. He didn’t like the name, so he started thinking: “Hmmm, numbers. One in each box. Some numbers.”

This is how he came up with the Japanese name suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru. Translated, this means: the numbers must be alone, where decoction It can also stand for singles. Sudoku is an abbreviation of that sentence.

## 25 seconds

Kaji came up with the name in 25 seconds and said, “I didn’t have more time because my crew pressured me to come up with a name and I wanted to go to a horse race that day.”

Sudoku became very popular only in 2004, after the British newspaper The Times published a puzzle on the advice of a New Zealand enthusiast. Then the game went fast and now Sudoku is appearing in hundreds of newspapers and in countless puzzle books. There is now a World Sudoku Championship. Nicholi says 200 million people worldwide are solving Sudokus.

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Kaji said that didn’t make him rich. “Some friends asked me why I didn’t patent Sudoku in all countries.” You can be a millionaire! But I said, ‘That’s not what I want. I would be happier if everyone in the world could enjoy Sudoku more easily.”