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Formula for solving any Sudoku problem revealed.

Byline: ANI

London, Mar 22 (ANI): A leading professor is sucking all the fun out of the puzzle phenomenon - by revealing a formula to solve any Sudoku problem.

James Crook, an emeritus professor in South Carolina, will tomorrow publish his "pen-and-paper algorithm for solving Sudoku puzzles" on the website of the American Mathematical Society.

The algorithm boils down to five logical steps.

Sudoku fans, however, are aghast by the idea, reports The Times.

Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse crime novels and a puzzle enthusiast, said: "I'm sorry to hear somebody's discovered how to do it. It's like using a computer program to work out crossword anagrams - it takes all the fun and struggle out of it."

Dr Gareth Moore, who compiles puzzles for Sudoku Pro magazine, said: "Crook's algorithm might work, but the fun of Sudoku is the logical thinking by which you turn an intimidating problem into an enjoyable exercise."

The Crook algorithm is the first mathematical proof of how to solve the puzzle. His system requires players to mark up empty cells in a Sudoku grid with all possible remaining numbers and, by comparing number sets, to labour through a "tree" of options that eventually produces a solution.

However, the drawback of the method is that it takes ages - typically an hour. Yet through logic and intuition, most Sudoku puzzles can be solved in 20 minutes or less. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Mar 22, 2009
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