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Move Over Sudoku, Hidato has Something to Prove Too.

Updated on June 23, 2016
A sample Hidato puzzle
A sample Hidato puzzle
Dr. Gyora Benedek : the inventor of Hidato
Dr. Gyora Benedek : the inventor of Hidato
Solution to the given puzzle
Solution to the given puzzle

Introduction

Invented by Israeli computer scientist and mathematician Dr.Gyora Benedek, Hidato has now became a worldwide craze in mind games. It is dubbed by the New York Times as "The Successor of Sudoku"

Although Japanese-sounding by name just like Sudoku, Hidato (from the Hebrew word hida, meaning riddle) is also a very challenging puzzle that will leave you with plenty of head scratching time thinking of the solution. The goal of this puzzle game is to insert the blank cells with consecutive numbers starting from 1 up to the highest number(both initial and final number of the series are marked with a circle),making sure that consecutive numbers must be adjacent to each other either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

A Hidato puzzle is like tracking a Hamiltonian path over a given graph (usually a grid) with constraints in the given numbers. The larger the grid, the more difficult it seems for Hidato puzzles.There has been a formula discovered for 2 x N grids and a lower bound for 9 x 9 grid. Because its lower bound is about 500 times larger than the number of 9 x 9 Sudoku grids, this proves that Hidato is much richer than Sudoku.

Just like Sudoku, each and every Hidato puzzle has only one solution. The smallest one will be the easiest, but if you're up for a more challenging puzzle, you may try to solve the larger ones. These brain challenging puzzle will truly be a great brain exercise.

It was school of fishes which inspired Benedek to create Hidato
It was school of fishes which inspired Benedek to create Hidato

History

According to Dr. Benedek, it was when he was scuba diving, a school of fish swimming caught his attention. He said that they were so swimming so fast that he could only remember them from the spot they left behind when they moved to another direction. After figuring this out, he was overwhelmed after leaving these amazing fishes and it was still in his mind that when he noticed a wet newspaper in the shower. The only section left dry was the Sudoku puzzle. Then this idea came into his mind: How about making a puzzle where you have to assemble the path that the fishes have left behind after they disappear. After brainstorming this idea, he immediately got home and started building the puzzle. A couple of weeks later, he had created on what we call Hidato now.

Mechanics and Hints

The objective of the puzzle is simple. One must simply have to: Fill in the empty boxes with the natural numbers, ordered in such a way that each consecutive numbers are “touching” or adjacent horizontally,vertically or diagonally to each other, forming a chain until the final number is reached.

The basic solving technique to this puzzle, just like any other logic puzzles consists of analysing the possibilities for each number being present in each box. As a box can contain only a single number or when a number has only one possible place, it can therefore, be concluded that it belongs to the solution.

A helpful tip in solving the puzzle is it does not have be done in ascending or even in descending order. It can be done piecewise, with pieces starting from different givens.

Just like case for Sudoku, the resolution of harder Hidato puzzles requires the usage of more complex techniques - of various types of chain patterns, to be specific.

Variations

Through the years, many ideas and variations in Hidato have been introduced. A very popular variation of Hidato is the beehive grid. Instead of the traditional boxes, hexagons stack together that resembles a beehive; hence, the name. Same mechanics apply in finding the correct path from 1 to the highest number, making sure that consecutive numbers are adjacent to each other

A beehive Hidato
A beehive Hidato

Solving A Beehive Hidato

Acceptance in Today's World

Hidato, along with Sudoku is featured in several newspapers around the world. There are also printable Hidato templates online. In Peru, students use Hidato to study logical thinking and even held competitions. Although most people are still more familiar with Sudoku and even mistaken Hidato as Sudoku, it has become widely accepted by puzzle solvers and even developed variations of the game.

The slogan of Hidato that is well-known among puzzle solvers is “Find the path...solve the puzzle”.

Which of the following is more challenging to answer?

See results
Hidato fun 1: 203 Pure Logic Puzzles (Volume 1)
Hidato fun 1: 203 Pure Logic Puzzles (Volume 1)

A set of Hidato puzzles designed by Dr.Benedek himself

 

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