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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 in Tokyo.[1] Nikoli was established in 1980[1] and 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,[2] 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.[3]

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.


  1. ^ a b "Puzzles". Nikoli. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Nikoli Co.". Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  3. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]