Nikoli / Godfather of Sudoku Visits Singapore for the First Time

2013-10-11 11:32   #13100003

img13100003_1img13100003_2img13100003_3 Sudoku fans in Singapore invited Maki Kaji. Maki was very excited to visit Singapore for the first time and to learn how people were enjoying Sudoku in the country.

He gave workshops on how puzzles would enrich our lives along with Sudoku stories at Greendale Primary School and Nanyang Primary School.

Maki joined the welcome party later in the evening and shared the love of puzzles with Sudoku fans.

Nikoli / Teaching The Beauty of Symmetrical Crossword Puzzle

2013-04-17 03:15   #13040003

img13040003_1 Nikoli is known for creating Sudoku in symmetrical pattern. Maki gave workshops to American High School Students who study Japanese at Japan Bowl National Language Competition in Washington DC on April 12, 2013.

He demonstrated how to make a Japanese crossword puzzle in a symmetrical pattern. More than 150 students came up with possible words such as tabemono (food), natsu (summer), nihongo (Japanese), ninja and niwatori (chicken). Some came up with words from Japanese Anime cartoon.

Maki talked about the importance of balancing a particular word with making a question for the word.
"Quiz is knowledge. Puzzle is all about the process. Making this process exciting for solvers is a work of art," he said. Students enjoyed creating crossword while they also experienced the difficulty of creating a one with good quality. Computer-generated logic puzzles offer one-pattern of solving. However, he explained, when each puzzle is created by a human, it offers multiple solving patterns. He used the analogy of climbing a mountain. "Depending on which path to start with, each person can enjoy different views from the mountain. Puzzle is like a life. There is no one straight answer," he said.

Nikoli / Introducing Fukuwarai Puzzle to Pre-K Students

2013-04-17 03:12   #13040002

img13040002_2 "Teaching younger group of children can be more difficult than teaching adults," Maki confessed. A Montessori school in New York invited Maki again to give a puzzle workshop to 3-5 years old children.
Last time, children enjoyed solving picture puzzle and Origami picture Sudoku with Maki.

Maki enjoyed playing Fukuwarai, or "Lucky Laugh", a Japanese game whereby the players pin different parts of the face such as the eyes, eyeblrows, nose and mouth onto a blank face and laugh at the humorous results. "It is a team-effort puzzle. Help your friends by guiding them. Who wants to volunteer?," Maki asked. Almost all of 20 students raised their hands. Children laughed at the funny faces their classmates created.

Maki also had all children and teachers trace their hands on a large paper. With crayons on one hand while covering their eyes on other hands, everyone tried to color their finger nails. It turned out to be a piece of artwork.

Teachers who tried wooden puzzles said, "colleges did not teach us this!" Maki reminded everyone the simple idea can turn into a puzzle.