5x5 Sudoku - Vol.1

Posted on Aug 23, 2018 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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It's been over one hundred years since the first 9x9 magic square puzzles started to be published in newspapers, though the name Sudoku has been in use for just about 30 years. Countless variations have been invented and refined - some crazy difficult, others much more accessible to the masses. The Sudoku variation I've discovered recently is definitely for the more casual puzzle aficionado, but can still offer some challenge for the seasoned puzzler.

5x5 Sudoku is just like what its name suggests. Unlike a classic grid of 9x9 cells, this new variation has a length of only 5x5 cells. The grid is divided into five subsections, or regions, with a central cross, resulting in a visually appealing symmetry.

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The paperback book, authored by Christopher Thomas, is nicely presented with 200 puzzles, each page containing one single large square with a puzzle. However, with a more economical approach, the book could've easily featured 800 puzzles in it. A suggestion for later volumes in the series. I can understand the design choice, though, as you are able to concentrate easily on one puzzle at a time. As this is the first of several planned books, you'll start slow and easy. Expect a higher challenge in the coming volumes. Solutions for each puzzle are provided at the end of the book.

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Like any other Sudoku puzzle, you start with a partially completed grid with eight numbers neatly and sparsely placed on the grid. A well-trained eye will surely notice the well planned symmetry of the starting numbers, as if a beautiful mathematical dance was being carried on between the puzzle and the solver. Only one solution per puzzle is possible.

I've solved almost half of the available puzzles, so far. Even though they're easily solvable within 5 minutes or less, this variation is really fun. With less numbers to think about (you only use numbers from 1 to 5), and with a less crowded grid, you'll breeze through the 200 puzzles in no time. Maybe those 800 puzzles wouldn't be so bad, after all...

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You'll find on the photos that I've not written on the book. I personally don't like to write on the books. I've even made an Excel file on my phone specifically for this book so as to not spoil it. You can also do the puzzles on a paper notebook or something, if you also don't like to write on your books. In the end, you'll find that you can reuse the book and solve all the puzzles again whenever you like, since there are no marks on it that prevent you from doing so again and enjoy it a second, or third, or how many times you want. You can even lend it to a friend. Just don't forget to tell them not to write on it...

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I have no specific strategies to solve a Sudoku puzzle. But then again, I'm a casual when it comes to Sudoku. I like to take my time and discover how to solve the puzzle on my own without thinking too much about special tactics and strategies. I've been playing it for years, and that's how I intend to keep doing it.

Closing Comments:

I was pleasantly surprised by this new Sudoku variation. It's a simple and yet addicting puzzle, great for a short break from your daily life. If you like the classic Sudoku, you're gonna love the 5x5 Sudoku. Can't wait for the next volumes.

Availability: You can find the 5x5 Sudoku vol.1 on Amazon for just £6.99.

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