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.