Frequently Asked Questions & Support

Any Sudoku player, whether a total beginner or a true-blue Sudoku expert, needs a place to get help with questions related to the game. The Professor’s FAQ class is now in session, offering Sudoku answers to the challenging puzzles that leave gamers feeling frustrated. We've included a list of frequently asked questions below.

General Sudoku FAQ

(Click the question to expand the answer.)

Modern Sudoku was appropriated by Howard Garns, a retired architect who submitted puzzles to Dell Magazines in 1979. Nikoli, a Japanese game and puzzle company, popularized the puzzles to a mass market in the 1980s. A Swiss mathematician named Leonhard Euler is credited with developing the concept in 1783, though there is evidence similar games may have been played earlier.

Sudoku is derived from a Japanese phrase, which roughly translates to 'the numbers are single.' In short, keep the numbers one through nine in every row, column and box of three-by-three cells. That means you will not enter more than one of each number (1-9) in any row, column, or 3x3 block.

The numbers themselves aren't actually integral to solving Sudoku. Some puzzles use alphabet letters or emoji symbols as a replacement for the nine unique placeholders most commonly represented by the numbers 1-9.

Sudoku thrives on the concept of logic. Guessing is not recommended under any circumstance. Looking up the answer in the back of the book is highly frowned upon.

There is always a way to find the next correct number without guessing or looking in the back for the answer. Both guessing and looking at the answer rob the player of the chance to use logic to solve the puzzle and apply the appropriate technique for each situation in Sudoku.

It really depends on the skill level of the individual player and the difficulty of the particular puzzle in question. Typically, Sudoku puzzles can take anywhere from ten minutes to a half-hour with concentrated playing. Complicated puzzles sometimes take an hour or longer to solve.

Many players who do not understand the proper techniques to progress in a certain puzzle will put a frustrating puzzle down and come back to them later.

The game is based on patterns. You could substitute the numbers for symbols, alphabet letters or emojis. It would still be the same concept.

Arithmetic doesn't come into play. Sudoku does not require the player to understand or to use concepts such as addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, exponents, or parenthetical phrases. Thus, children and adults can learn how to play and solve Sudoku with the right playing techniques.

Sudoku puzzles can be found in The New York Times, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Washington Times, The (Nashville) Tennessean and Denver Post. For online resources, check out our Sudoku puzzles resources page.

That would be The Conway Daily Sun based out of New Hampshire in 2004.

There are many methods for solving Sudoku, and many of them go by very strange names and are explained in difficult-to-understand, theoretical applications without concrete examples or hand-held walkthroughs.

We recommend using the techniques taught in the Sudoku Professor’s “Sudoku Solving System” Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctorate programs.

In Loco Sudoku, (also known as “jigsaw sudoku”, “irregular sudoku”, “nonomino sudoku”, and “geometric sudoku”), the traditional three-by-three blocks are changed into irregular shapes and patterns that still fit into a nine-by-nine grid shape that is the same as traditional Sudoku puzzles. 

In Color Sudoku, the concept of colored numbers is added to the traditional 1-9 arrangement in standard Sudoku puzzles. In addition to not duplicating any numbers in any row, column, or box, you cannot duplicate colors in individual columns, rows or three-by-three grid boxes. It's the same concept, but with all the colors in the traditional rainbow.

In 12x12 and 16x16 Sudoku, the Sudoku concept is expanded to include the numbers 1-12 or 1-16, respectively. These puzzles adhere to the same rules of one number per row, column, and box.

Sudoku Professor does not teach anything related to any of these puzzles and cannot comment on their relative difficulty, sources for puzzles, or anything else related to these different games that fall under the Sudoku umbrella.

Sudoku Professor only focuses on the traditional 9x9 Sudoku puzzles that are the most widely played and most popular puzzle type.

You can always join in on our live discussions that happen on our Facebook page. Simply visit the page and click the like button so that you’ll be notified when we do our live Q&A sessions via the FB live platform. You’ll be able to submit your question directly to the Sudoku Professor - LIVE!

Sudoku Professor FAQ

You can visit our products page here. You will find our introductory DVD lessons as well as our Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctorate (coming soon) programs. You may also join our mailing list by clicking here.

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You may also join the Sudoku Professor’s Club for insider access and training.

The printable puzzles require Adobe Reader be installed on your computer.  So if you’re having trouble, it is likely that you need to download and install the Adobe Reader software.  Adobe Reader is free, easy to use and install.  Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click the Download Now button and follow the instructions.

Once Adobe Reader is installed on your computer,

  1. In the download area underneath the video, click the link to the puzzle.  This will download the puzzle, and open it up in another browser window.
  2. Click the Printer icon, and your puzzle will print out.

Just move your mouse cursor anywhere within the video and click.  To restart the video, just click again within the video area.

Check each of these things:

  • If your speakers have a separate on/off switch or volume control, make sure they are on and the volume is turned up there.
  • Next check your computer’s volume control.  You may have controls on your keyboard or, if you’re using Windows, you’ll have a volume/speaker icon in the icon tray.  Make sure that volume hasn’t been muted and it’s turned up.
  • The last place to check is the volume control on the video player.  When you move your mouse over the video, the volume control shows up near the lower-right corner.  It looks sort of like a speaker.  Hover your mouse over that and a veritcal slider will show up.  Click the circle and move it up to raise the volume.

The default volume on the video is all the way up.  We suggest you adjust the volume by using your computer’s or your speaker’s volume controls.

In this situation, it is likely that something has interrupted your Internet connection while you were playing back.

The first thing you want to do is note where you are in the video (i.e., how much time has elapsed), so you can quickly get back to that point.

Next, refresh or reload the page in your browser.  

Click to start playing the video again.  Then advance the play head to the time you left off (or as close as possible).