Arts and Entertainment

Federal Way artist creates world’s toughest sudoku puzzles

Federal Way artist Maciek Jozefowicz created the world
Federal Way artist Maciek Jozefowicz created the world's toughest sudoku puzzles, two 16x16 grids that replace the familiar sudoku number sequence with graphic symbols instead. This puzzle is named Hercules Sudoku 1.
— image credit: By Maciek Jozefowicz

Maciek Jozefowicz, a Federal Way artist, has created the world’s toughest sudoku puzzles, two 16x16 grids that replace the familiar sudoku number sequence with graphic symbols instead.

Jozefowicz, who sells his unique puzzles through his website konokopia.com, said he had an insight into the nature of sudoku, which allowed him to create the two new puzzles that are aptly named Hercules Sudoku 1 and 2.

“I realized that sudoku really isn’t a numerical puzzle, it’s essentially a graphical puzzle,” said Jozefowicz, who has a master of architecture degree from the University of Washington. “You have to put together the visual symbols in a way that follows the rules. So instead of using numbers, you can really use any graphic symbols. So I decided to translate the numbers, which is kind of the traditional sudoku, into graphic symbols, and by having graphic symbols, I could do a sudoku of a different size.”

Jozefowicz noted that with the traditional numerical sudoku, symbols are limited to one through nine, which constrains the board to 9x9, as well. With his graphic symbol approach, he could move beyond that and scale it up to the 16x16 creations currently online at konokopia.com.

As part of his effort to show off his new style of sudoku puzzle, Jozefowicz has an open contest running until Jan. 31 for the two puzzles. Six correct solutions will be chosen and will earn a free book from his catalog. He will also sign the winners books as part of the contest. The winners will be announced Feb. 2 on the website.

Jozefowicz noted that along with these new puzzles and the contest, he plans to launch a Kickstarter project on Jan. 15 for his next unique project.

“It’s maze puzzles in the form of a scroll,” he said. “The maze puzzle is 6 inches by 48 inches on a scroll, and there will be nine or 12 different scrolls,” he said.

He added that he recently closed out a successful Kickstarter campaign, one in which 300 people or so funded him to create a 28-page maze book called Labryinthos. Like all of his works, this one was also unique in that the maze started on page 1 and ended on page 28 of the book.

To participate in the Hercules Sudoku challenge, or to view more of his work, visit konokopia.com.

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Hercules Sudoku 2, a puzzle created by Maciek Jozefowicz.

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Maciek Jozefowicz

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