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    Posted December 19, 2013 by
    Federal Way, Washington

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    Sudoku Contest: Solve The World's Most Difficult Sudoku Puzzle, Hercules Visual Sudoku, for Prizes

    Konokopia, an independent publisher of comics, art, and puzzles, is running a contest of who can solve two of the world's most difficult sudoku puzzles, Hercules Sudoku 1 and Hercules Sudoku 2. Six correct solutions will earn a free puzzle book of their choice from the Konokopia catalog. Each of the books will be signed by the creator, Maciek Jozefowicz. The contest ends January 31, 2014. No purchase is necessary to participate in the contest and the two contest puzzles can be downloaded for free from the Konokopia website at For contest rules please see the website.

    The two sudoku puzzles were created especially for the contest by Maciek Jozefowicz, self-dubbed artist, designer, writer, explorer and part-time genius.

    " I began by asking myself simple questions: What is a sudoku? Is it a numbers puzzle? Are the digits an integral part of the game or are the rules that make a sudoku, a sudoku?"

    The conclusion that the creator of the Hercules Sudoku came to is that the sudoku is not about the numbers, it is about the rules. Any distinct graphic symbols can be used to create a sudoku. Numbers have been traditionally used because they are distinct graphic symbols. And 9 digits have been used because after the number 9, the numbers loose their distinctness. Thus the traditional sudoku puzzle has used a 9x9 grid.

    The Hercules Sudoku puzzles use a 16x16 grid and use 16 distinct graphic symbols. The increase in size is one of the features that makes the Hercules Sudoku puzzles the World's Most Difficult Sudoku.

    Another feature that make these sudoku difficult is the use of non-numerical symbols.

    "Because the graphic symbols I created for the Hercules Sudoku don't have any 'meaning' associated with them, they are more difficult to keep track of," explains the artist, "They test the player's concentration."

    The Hercules Sudoku require more visual attentiveness and focus. Even expert sudoku players find this sudoku more difficult because it takes them out of their "comfort zone".

    The Hercules Sudoku puzzles are not the first sudoku puzzles created by the artist. He has created two books of sudoku puzzles, Visual Sudoku Puzzle Book and Visual Sudoku Kids Puzzle Book. Both books are published by Konokopia and will be available in January.

    Like the Hercules Sudoku, the sudoku puzzles collected in the two books replace the numbers with other simple abstract graphic symbols.

    "The reason why I am calling my sudoku puzzles Visual Sudoku is because they do not use digits, they use abstract graphic symbols. They are more visual, they are more visually attractive than traditional sudoku puzzles."

    And because the Visual Sudoku puzzles are no longer tied to the use of numbers, the creator can vary the size of the grids from which to make the sudoku puzzles.

    This flexibility is demonstrated in the Visual Sudoku Kids Puzzle Book. The collection of Visual Sudoku puzzles is organized in stages, from the beginner stage in which the sudoku puzzles use a 4x4 grid, to the master stage in which the sudoku puzzles use a 8x8 grid. Finally, bonus stage sudoku puzzles use a 10x10 grid.

    The book was created to introduce children to the sudoku puzzle, specifically, and to pen-and-paper puzzles, in general. By using abstract symbols, the puzzles offer the added fun of drawing in the solutions and coloring the puzzles when done.

    "Math is not associated with fun, but art is," says the artist, "math can also be intimidating to children who might like this puzzle but are turned off by the numbers. But associating the sudoku with art, I have made it more welcoming to children. And the challenge is the same."

    Currently, Maciek is working on his fifth puzzle book, the Hercules Visual Sudoku Puzzle Book. This book will collect sudoku that use the 16x16 grid, like the two contest puzzles. The puzzles in the book will challenge even the most masterful sudoku players.

    For more information about the books and the contest and to download the contest puzzles go to .

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