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The answer: 6, 670, 903, 752, 021, 072, 936, 960, according to this site:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/426554/mathematicians-solve-minimum-sudoku-problem/

I have tried to get this number using direct methods but basically I have found the question too hard. There are too many possibilities, but I am likely missing some strategic ways to solve the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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You should be more precise about when two give sudokus are different. For example given some sudokus you can use a rotation to get a new one. Or another way is just renaming the 1 into 2 and vice versa –  Dominic Michaelis Nov 20 '13 at 6:04
    
So as in Wikipedia stand there are actually 5,472,730,538 different sudokus (taken symmetries in account) –  Dominic Michaelis Nov 20 '13 at 6:06

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

http://www.afjarvis.staff.shef.ac.uk/sudoku/sudoku.pdf ${}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}$

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Beat me to it (again) –  Mark Bennet Jan 10 '13 at 20:55
    
Super. Thanks Chris. –  Adam Rubinson Jan 10 '13 at 21:19

Try Wikipedia for an introduction and overview and additional references.

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I think it would be (9!)squared X 9 The 9 is from the 9 different puzzles with the center number changed. Then you would have to subtract all the puzzles with 0 thru 7 solved numbers(if you had the 8th solved, the empty spaces would be the next solved number and the puzzle)

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