Most helpful positive review
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Lots of great math, and a thorough look at variants
on January 2, 2012
Along with Sudoku Masterpieces and Mutant Sudoku, this is one of the best Sudoku books ever written. And I do mean written/crafted -- too many Sudoku books are computer generated. This book shows a lot of careful craftsmanship.
In addition to giving examples of many variants, the authors give many of the known records, such as a 12-clue Sudoku X puzzle. Along the way, the book covers many mathematical topics, such as Logic (as it applies to Sudoku), Latin squares, combinatorics, equivalence classes, group theory, searching methods, graph theory, polynomials, and extremes. These are all great topics for any student with a computer. Today, if you have a computer, you have roughly 100 trillion times more power than a researcher in the 1960's. A lot of math education is still in a pre-1960 mentality. It's good to know all the basic math, but it's more important these days to learn how to write a fast brute-force search.
Sadly, there isn't a mention of the creator of Numbers Place/Sudoku: Howard Garns. It would have taken just a page, so they should have including him. Look up "sudoku variations" in Google to find the history. Other than that oversight, this is the best book on the topic ever written. Excellent multicolor graphics, illustrations, explanations, and puzzles are on every page. Highly recommended.