Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sudoku

It’s Jennifer’s fault!

She’s on my blogroll, so I check out her latest posts at least 3-4 times each week. She had to go and mention Sudoku.

Hey, I know! It’s JUST a puzzle. No big deal, right? How can a little puzzle become so addicting?

I Googled the word and checked out a couple of the zillions of web sites dedicated to it. The rules are simple, and the logic is pretty straightforward, so I started with an “easy” one.

No problem. I got the hang of it pretty quickly and came up with the correct solution in about, oh, 20 minutes or so. I tried another “easy” one. This time it only took about 15 minutes.

Thus emboldened I tried out a “medium” level puzzle. Hmmm, same rules, same logic, but fewer givens and thus more unknowns to figure out. This one took about 30 minutes, but again I got the correct answer. So, another “medium.” Then another.

OK, this is a little bit of a challenge, but I wonder how hard the “hard”ones are? Gotta try one.

Ooo! This one went for over an hour! I got to a point where I thought I’d looked at every square and nothing just HAD to fit in any of them. I walked away for a few minutes and then came back to it.

THERE! Now I saw it! Oh, and after THAT one, the rest of it started to fall into place and soon I had the correct solution to it, too!

Hey, I think I’m GOOD at this!

Next I tried a web site that offers a “speed challenge.” You work the puzzle online and compare your speed against others.

HA! Let’s just see how good they are! Bring on that first puzzle!

Oh. Well, darn. This one is sticky. Must be the pressure of knowing the clock is ticking and others are probably ahead.

I actually start to sweat! I CAN’T let this thing beat me! AH, there’s the move I missed. There’s another! OK, OK... Done!

Let’s check my time. Gee, the winner took about 6 minutes. Several others finished in under 10, then a bunch at 15-20 minutes.

I found my name WAY down the list at about 48 minutes. Obviously, “good” is relative.

I’ve succeeded in interesting Carol in the puzzles. Not hard to do, since she’s a crossword puzzle whiz and works logic problems for fun. I actually beat her by a significant margin on the first few she tried. The last few have been very close, and I can see she’s getting better rapidly.

I think I’ll quit Sudoku now and go back to golf. There I have an excuse for losing to Carol almost every time. My excuse is that my equipment is inferior to hers.

And it’s true!

But I’m talking about our MENTAL equipment. She’ll always have a clear edge there.

So thanks, Jennifer, for the Sudoku experience. I was good at it for a few hours anyway.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like Sudoku? Check out www.sudokuprime.com

Christina said...

I had never heard of sudoku, but I thought I would try it. Not my cup of tea. I gave up in disgust on the very first "easy" puzzle I attempted. word games I love, number games, not so much.

kenju said...

I love doing crosswords and letters come easy for me - but sudoku? Numbers and I do not get along. I started one of the puzzles in the paper, and I thought I had it all down pat. Then I got to the last 2 rows and found out nothing I had entered before was in the right spot. DRAT!

Karyn Lyndon said...

What? No post today??? You must be addicted to Sudoku...is there a 12 step program for you? Somebody help!

Reviewer said...

This is a fun site to get started on Sudoku with,

www.sudokudaily.net

It respects your intelligence!

Cheers, Omar

Hale McKay(Mike) said...

Sudoku has been appearing on the puzzle page in the Boston Globe for about two months now. I was hooked for about a month before growing bored with them. I even saw a book of them on the news stand last week. I didn't bother to pick it up.
...Will stick to my Cryptic Crosswords and Diagramless Crossword Puzzles.