by **udosuk** » Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:36 pm

So you are the "culprit" for the Times indecision about the rules... (Don't worry, just kidding!)

I'll tell you why numbers must not repeat within the cages. This puzzle is not invented by the Times people. The idea is originated/created by one from a group of Japanese puzzlists including the grandmaster Tetsuya Nishio and the lovely lady Miyuki Misawa (perhaps tso could give the exact person)... It's a "baby" of 2 popular puzzles: sudoku/number place and kakuro/cross sums. In the latter the goal is to fill horizontal/vertical lines of digits to certain sums (just like a crossword) and you guess it right, a digit cannot be duplicated within each line. That keeps the max length of a line to be 9 and makes the considerations more simple/systematic.

Now if what I conjecture is right, when the Times borrowed the idea and renamed it from the unimaginative name of "sum number place" to the more catchy/funny/outrageous "killer sudoku", they must have some sort of agreement that the rules should stay in that way, in case there will be some sort of "international championships" among the Japs and Brits and all other people over the world. So as long as "killer sudoku=sum number place" numbers must not be repeated within cages. Even if this means you cannot have a cage larger than 9 cells.

If some smart a#@e wants to make it harder by allowing duplications within cages, they'll need to invent a new name for the puzzle, how about "murderer sudoku"? (I could see the "Times national murderer championship" could be more attractive than a "killer championship"...)

If somebody wants to see what a puzzle like that looks like, I heard that #91 of the Times "killer sudoku" book is one, by mistake or intentional. Having no access of the book whatsoever, I couldn't and wouldn't describe its details here or suggest anybody else to do it...