Two more SUDOKU books No.1 & 2 just appeared. They carry the name of the master puzzle maker Will Shortz who is very well known to all puzzle enthusiasts (metagrobologists) especially crosswords. Will gives a short introduction to Sudoku Easy Presented by Will Shortz Volume 1: 100 Wordless Crossword Puzzles, which he shows us is not really that new. He’s been in the game a long time and I think when he tells us something you can take it to the bank. He thinks it is going to be as popular as were Crosswords in the 20’s, Jigsaws in the 30’s and Rubik’s Cube in the 80’s. Rubik’s cube came out 25 years ago. Believe It or Not! While it was a real craze, it was beyond the ability of most people. It has still got a following and I attended a World Championship last year here in Toronto. The winner was a teenager from California who solved it in 16 seconds. One of the contestants he defeated was a college professor who competed in the First World Championship in 1981 and had been working on it all those years. Crosswords and Jigsaws can be done by just about anyone depending on the difficulty and patience and time. SUDOKU is also a puzzle that can be done by the masses but it also lends itself to speed competitions. If my memory serves me well in competitions, the Sunday New York Times Crossword gets solved in 3 minutes. I think we are going to see SUDOKU competitions on TV very soon. Shortz tells us the name SUDOKU comes from the Japanese phrase “suji wadokushin ni kagiru” meaning “only single numbers allowed”. He also tells us these puzzles first appeared in Dell Pencil Puzzles and Games Magazine in May 1979 and that the inventor credited for them was Howard Garns an Architect from Indianapolis, who retired in the 1970’s and died in 1981. He was 74 when he sold his first puzzle. These puzzles were called “NUMBER PLACE” The editor of a Japanese Puzzle magazine took them back to Japan and published these puzzles under the name of SUDOKU and in the last year have caught fire and have spread all around the world and finally coming back to where they started. The puzzles in these books were created by Peter Ritmeester. He is the General Secretary of The World Puzzle Federation which organizes World Puzzle Championships in which SUDOKU puzzles and variations on them have been popular for years. Each book contains simple solution methods and 100 puzzles to solve. These would be great books to get started or as gifts to someone who is already doing these puzzles in their local newspapers or anyone who likes “to do puzzles”. If you are interested, I have written reviews on other SUDOKU puzzle books on Aug 3 (2 books), Aug 10 and Sept 30. It’s now Nov 23, 2005 and here’s a bit of an update. Several other Sudoku books and sets for Dummies by Will Shortz have appeared. They are much like the first one. If looking for Sudoko books in bookstores check out the Games section. You should find over 20 different ones great Christmas gifts and stocking staffers. You can purchase this book at Amazon.