Pazuju – the great new puzzle you never heard of

August 19, 2016

I remember years ago reading about Sudoku. Already popular in Japan, the reviewer predicted that it would be featured in newspapers as regularly as crossword puzzles. Since then it indeed had, as predicted, a meteoric rise.

Math educators tend to be fans of Sudoku and similar puzzles (especially KenKen). Logic puzzles motivate the same sorts of thinking we use when we solve math problems: if I do this, then what’s the result? What can I learn if I assume the opposite of what I think is true?

Still, I’ve never been a huge fan of Sudoku. I find the puzzle a little dry, and don’t usually bother with it.

Cut to a few months back, when a publisher contacted me about a new puzzle called Pazuju. Pazuju is a kind of marriage of Sudoku and Tetris, including both logical and geometrical elements. It was hard for me to imagine.

The publisher sent me a sample of the book, and I tried one out. Then another. And suddenly, I was hooked. What I found was a puzzle that had the same logical appeal of Sudoku, but with more variety and interest. In my opinion, it’s quite simply a superior puzzle.

Will Pazuju be featured in newspapers everywhere, and eclipse Sudoku? I don’t know; it’s always hard to know what will rise to the top. But frankly, I think it deserves to be played everywhere Sudoku is. If you find yourself with a little time to spend on puzzles, I highly recommend this one. (I’m especially partial to the smaller 6 x 6 versions, which are generally quicker, though can still be quite subtle to solve.)

You can play Pazuju puzzles for free here. There’s also a book and an app available.

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