Smallest defining sets
A standard Sudoku square is a 9 × 9 latin square in which each of the nine 3 × 3 subsquares into which it can be separated contains each of the integers 1 to 9 exactly once.
A current problem is to complete such a square when only some of the cells have been filled. These cells are often called ‘givens’. (Such problems are currently (2005) published daily in British newspapers.) In more mathematical terms, the given filled cells constitute a defining set or uniquely completable set for the square if they lead to a unique completion of the square. If, after deletion of any one of these givens, the square can no longer be completed uniquely, the givens form a critical set. The investigation of critical sets for ‘ordinary’ latin squares is a topic of current mathematical interest. (See  for more details.)