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How did Sudoku get its name?

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Published in Daily Trivia

The puzzle was introduced in Japan by Nikoli in the paper Monthly Nikolist in April 1984 as Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru of "the numbers must be single." The puzzle was named by Maki Kaji, the president of Nikoli. At a later date, the name was abbreviated to Sudoku, taking only the first kanji of compound words to form a shorter version. In 1986, Nikoli introduced two innovations: the number of givens restricted to no more than 32 and puzzles became "symmetrical" (meaning the givens were distributed in rotationally symmetric cells). It is now published in mainstream Japanese periodicals, such as the Asahi Shimbun.

 

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