Sudoku (so͞o dōko͞o') puzzles, despite their Japanese name, were not actually invented in Japan. According to the history note in Wikipedia, they first appeared in France, and then popularized in America. To wit: "The modern Sudoku was most likely designed anonymously by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old retired architect and freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana, and first published in 1979 by Dell Magazines as Number Place (the earliest known examples of modern Sudoku)." The word in Japanese, 数独, means "digit-single." Regardless of its origins, Sudoku is an immensely popular game today. My older sister, Gayle, is a Sudoku fanatic (the full version of the word "fan," meaning enthusiast; i.e., she's a fan of Sudoku).
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