Logic puzzle genre

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Many newspapers and magazines regularly print logic puzzles that always have to be solved according to the same rules. A well-known example is Sudoku . In order to distinguish these from individual examples of such puzzles, as well as from completely different logic puzzles (e.g. mathematical riddles ), a logic puzzle genre is used here .

General properties

Instructions and information

All types of logic puzzles have in common that the task to be solved consists of instructions and information. The instructions (also: rules) denote the solution rule that applies to every logic puzzle of a type, e.g. E.g. in Sudoku the text: “Fill the fields of this grid with the numbers from 1 to 9 so that each column, each row and each 3 × 3 block contains these exactly once.” The information, however, consists of the always various specifications that can be assumed; in the example of Sudoku these are the numbers already drawn.

There is always exactly one, clear solution.

Common structures

Most types of logic puzzles are based on a grid of square fields. Often these have to be filled in with numbers or other symbols, sometimes connected to form closed areas, sometimes a line has to be drawn along their borders. In honeycomb or some variants of Slitherlink is a grid of hexagonal fields. Others, such as the symbol puzzle or Hashiwokakero, have completely different structures. With Loopy, on the other hand, a closed curve must be found in the fields.

For many genera it is the case that the specification is of the same form as the solution to be found. One example is Sudoku: some numbers have already been drawn in, the rest have to be found.


The first such logic puzzle was published on November 19, 1892 in the French daily Le Siècle . It was a magic square , from which some numbers were removed, which the reader should reconstruct. Since a large number of other puzzles can be created according to the same principle, i.e. with the same instructions but different information, this can be referred to as a logic puzzle genre. Indeed, such puzzles appeared in Le Siècle for several years . From this genre Sudoku later developed, which was first published in puzzle magazines and then in many newspapers worldwide.

The symbol puzzles , which initially appeared in logic puzzle magazines , were also represented in newspapers early on . These two types of puzzles made such logic puzzles very well known due to their wide publication, whereupon many puzzle authors devised other such "series-capable" puzzles. These appear mostly in puzzle magazines, but the most popular also appear in daily newspapers and other media.


  1. ^ Christian Boyer: Supplément de l'article "Les ancêtres français du sudoku" Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. (PDF) In: Pour la Science (reprint) . May 2006, pp. 1-6. Retrieved August 3, 2009.