Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sudoku obsession could ruin my life

I'd been hearing about the wild popularity of Sudoku, the number placement puzzle. I finally tried it this week, and suddenly I'm obsessed. Web Sudoku is a good place to try it, because the "How am I doing?" button lets you know when you've made a mistake.

It reminds me a bit of Minesweeper; the logic involved in figuring out where a number must go because of where it can't go appeals to me. As my eyes scan over the grid hunting for certain numbers, I'm reminded of those Mah Jongg tile solitaire games like Shanghai.

The trouble? Sudoku takes attention. Unlike knitting, I can't do Sudoku and watch TV, carry on a conversation, or read. I obviously can't do Sudoku and knit. And if I keep trying to do Sudoku puzzles while Mike wants to play along with Lingo or What's My Line, then my relationship will be on the rocks.

My only hope is to get him hooked too.


Anonymous said...

I have been doing the Sudoku in the Denver Post for about two weeks now: it really is strangely addictive--to some people at least! My biggest concern though--sometimes do you just have to guess? Or is there _always_ a logical move to make????

I'm not sure if I even really want an answer. It's more comforting to think that when I've been stumped, it was the puzzle's fault!

yarmando said...

Tom, supposedly you shouldn't ever have to guess. But I think the more difficult puzzles require you to recognize trios, a set of three squares that must contain one of three particular numbers, and use that to make assumptions about other squares in the puzzle. Guessing is easier.

And guessing is faster. I've learned that I can improve my time significantly at by just guessing rather than trying to puzzle it out logically.