Nov 15, 2009

Brand New Puzzle, the OCTO, Challenges Sudoku

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 9, 2009 — Doug Gardner, a government computer security specialist from Arlington, Virginia, has invented a new mathematical logic puzzle intended to challenge Sudoku’s reign as America’s paper puzzle of choice. The new patent-pending puzzle, called the OCTO, expands on Sudoku by introducing several new elements, including an octagonal grid, diagonal lines of non-repeating numbers, and summed number clues. The OCTO puzzle’s unique structure and additional clues increase the variety of techniques available to the solver, making an OCTO puzzle a richer puzzle experience relative to Sudoku. OCTO puzzles can also be created with variable difficulty, depending on how many numbers are initially provided as clues.

OCTO puzzles are available regularly in a half-dozen major university newspapers, with a total weekly circulation of over 100,000. Three books of OCTO puzzles have been published and are available online. The first two books, “OCTO Unleashed” and “OCTO Reloaded,” include OCTO puzzles in the full range of difficulty, from Easy to Very Hard. The latest book, “OCTO Genesis,” includes only Easy and Medium OCTO puzzles.

Doug Gardner, the inventor of the OCTO puzzle, is a self-proclaimed life-long puzzle fanatic. He developed the OCTO puzzle in a deliberate attempt to combine and improve on two different puzzles he enjoys. “I was getting bored with Sudoku puzzles and I really enjoy the crossword puzzle-like number game called Kakuro. I thought it would be great if I could combine the two puzzles into a single puzzle that required techniques from both. It turns out, octagons were the key.”

OCTO Puzzle Home Page

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