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HomeLatestWhat is sudoku? How to solve, rules, benefits to the brain, explained.

What is sudoku? How to solve, rules, benefits to the brain, explained.

Daily puzzlers would be quick to tell you that sudoku, Wordle’s mathematical cousin, is not as easy as it looks. The small grid, found often next to a word scramble or comic strip in a print newspaper, demands focus and big picture thinking.

How do you play sudoku? What are the rules? We unpack the puzzle for beginners below, and give a little context on brain benefits, and name origin.

Play Sudoku online:USA Today puzzles

Play the crossword while you’re at it:USA Today online crossword

What is sudoku?

Sudoku is defined by Merriam-Webster as a 9-by-9 grid puzzle in which the grid is divided into 3-by-3  boxes. Every row, column and box must contain the numbers one through nine, no repeats.

Sound like a jumble of words? Here is an example of solved sudoku as a visual aid.

How do you play sudoku?

If you’re a beginner, a lot of sudoku puzzling is trial and error (so start with a pencil, not a pen.)

Most sudoku puzzles come with a few of the boxes already filled in, so you can use those freebie clues as a jumping off point for solving and work backwards. The fewer numbers already filled in the more difficult it will be.

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