ARLINGTON, Va., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The OCTO puzzle, a new math and logic brainteaser designed to challenge Sudoku as the popular puzzle of choice, is now protected by U.S. Patent Number 7,887,055, issued February 15, 2011. The inventor, Doug Gardner, is a government computer security expert from Arlington, Virginia who filed for the patent in October of 2008.
The OCTO puzzle expands on Sudoku by introducing several new elements, including a background of octagons, diagonals made up of non-repeating numbers, and summed number clues. The OCTO puzzle's new components not only separate its structure from Sudoku and other grid-based puzzles, but the expanded features add clues and solving rules, allowing for new solving techniques and a different "look and feel."
OCTO puzzles range in difficulty from "Easy" to "Very Hard," depending on how many numbers are initially provided. Easier puzzles are suitable for kids learning basic addition and casual puzzle solvers. Hard and Very Hard puzzles are for enthusiastic puzzle solvers - they can require quite a bit of complex and creative brain exercise.
Gardner is still a little amazed by the successful outcome of the patent process. "Given the thousands of logic puzzle variants that have been created over the past hundred years, it seemed like a longshot that I might have actually invented something that no one had come up with before," he said. "Then I started researching for the patent and didn't find anything similar in the USPTO archive. It was very exciting!"
OCTO puzzles are published regularly in several major university newspapers and self-published books are available through online retailers. Gardner continues to search for a full-service publisher. "As with any new idea, it can take a while to spread. The good news is that I spend a lot of time selling OCTO books at fairs and markets and I meet a lot of people who are ready for a new puzzle challenge. The feedback I'm getting is that they really like the OCTO."
Doug Gardner, a lifelong puzzle fanatic, developed the OCTO puzzle specifically to combine and improve on two puzzles he enjoys, Sudoku and the crossword-like number game called Kakuro. He continues to develop new puzzles and boardgames.
SOURCE Doug Gardner