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Nikoli is also a village on the island of Lefkada

Nikoli (ニコリ, nikori) Co., Ltd. is a Japanese publisher that specializes in games and, especially, logic puzzles. Nikoli is also the nickname of a quarterly magazine (whose full name is Puzzle Communication Nikoli) issued by the company. Nikoli became prominent worldwide with the popularity of Sudoku.

The name "Nikoli" comes from the racehorse who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 1980; the president of Nikoli, Maki Kaji, is fond of horse-racing and betting.[citation needed]

Nikoli's claim to fame is its vast library of "culture independent" puzzles. An example of a language/culture-dependent genre of puzzle would be the crossword, which relies on a specific language and alphabet. For this reason Nikoli's puzzles are often purely logical, and often numerical.

Nikoli's Sudoku, the most popular logic problem in Japan,[1] was popularized in the English-speaking world in 2005, although it was originally an American puzzle, since Dell Magazines had created it and distributed it for years.[2]

The magazine has invented several new genres of puzzles, and introduced several new games to Japan.

Nikoli puzzles[edit]

Moderately difficult Fillomino puzzle
© 2005 Adam R. Wood, licensed under GFDL
An uncompleted Hitori puzzle
A Sudoku puzzle (image hyperlinked to solution)

Some of the popular Nikoli puzzles,[citation needed] along with their Japanese names; terms in parentheses are published English titles for the same puzzles.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Nikoli Co.". Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  2. ^ Pegg, Ed, Jr. (2005-09-15). "Ed Pegg Jr.'s Math Games: Sudoku Variations". MAA Online. The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved October 3, 2006.