# Sudoku and Magic Squares: The Remarkable World of Mathematical Puzzles

## bySeymour S Block, Santiago A Tavares

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Sudoku has become a vastly popular and even addictive game. But fans may not know that Sudoku is a recent offshoot of the venerable Magic Square, which dates back over 4,000 years to ancient China, where it was literally considered magical. Indeed, Magic Squares have fascinated centuries ofmystics, astrologers, and some of the world's most brilliant thinkers, including Ben Franklin. In Sudoku and Magic Squares, Seymour Block and Santiago Tavares offer a crystal clear and engaging tour tour of Magic Squares, tracing their footsteps through through ancient and medieval history and illuminating their uses in art and design, statistics and electronics. The book provides adelightful account of a mind-boggling variety of magical squares, ranging from simple 3 x 3 and squares, to magic cubes, magic circles, magic pyramids, and even "the Beastly Magical Square," whose magic sum is 666. Of course, the authors also cover Sudoku, describing how the game became a world-widephenomenon and revealing various strategies for solving the puzzles. And along the way, the book offers readers many fascinating facts--for instance, Sudoku was invented in 1979 by an American architect living in Indianapolis and was originally called Number Place. Oddly enough, though the puzzle isknown around the world by its Japanese name (which means "single numbers"), many Japanese still call it Number Place. We also learn that in a 4 x 4 magic square, there are 880 different solutions that will yield the magic sum of 34--a surprisingly large number until you remember that there are over2.6 trillion possible combinations. Filled with lots of original puzzles for gamers to solve, Sudoku and Magic Squares is an entertaining book that will delight anyone who loves a challenge, including all fans of Sudoku.
Both authors are retired from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Seymour Block, Ph.D., is a past president of the American Chemical Society, though he long ago became an aficionado of and expert on Ben Franklin. He's written two well-reviewed trade books on Franklin, not to mention seve...