The mathematics of Septoku

George I. Bell
Arxiv ID: 0801.3697Last updated: 3/16/2020
Septoku is a Sudoku variant invented by Bruce Oberg, played on a hexagonal grid of 37 cells. We show that up to rotations, reflections, and symbol permutations, there are only six valid Septoku boards. In order to have a unique solution, we show that the minimum number of given values is six. We generalize the puzzle to other board shapes, and devise a puzzle on a star-shaped board with 73 cells with six givens which has a unique solution. We show how this puzzle relates to the unsolved Hadwiger-Nelson problem in combinatorial geometry.

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