Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Miscellaneous: Sudoku

I promise, no puzzles next Miscellaneous. Let me just get this one more puzzle out of my system. Sudoku.

If you haven't heard of it, I can't even guess where you've been hiding. The puzzle is a nine by nine grid which must be filled in with the numbers 1 through 9 in every row, column, and section. Some of the numbers are filled in to get started. The amount of numbers and their placement determine the skill needed to complete them. I used to do these in my Pencil Puzzles and Word Games magazines a looong time ago, before they were so popular. There are so many versions now. To see the variety I've included the Wiki link here.

I stick with the basics, the plain grid, and get them from several places. The first source is my local newspaper which puts a Sudoku in the entertainment section with the comics. At the beginning of the week they start with one star Sudoku and add a star each day. The most difficult ones are on Saturday.

Another source are the cheap books at places like Walmart and Target. Friends and family give me these. They are nice when commercials come on and I haven't pre-recorded the show I'm watching. A third source is a hand held game my MIL bought for me. There are many different types out there differing solving help features. I like the kind that let you place more than one number in each box. It helps with elimination.

That brings me to my fourth source...the Internet. There are so many online Sudoku that it's impossible not to find one. I have one set up on MyYahoo from BrainBashers. I like it because there is a new one each day, I can vary the level of difficulty by going to the site (MyYahoo page always displays the easy one), and I can fill in the boxes with more than one number if I need to. The online ones are often timed if you need more of a challenge.

It is easy to get hooked and fun to do when you're waiting for something...meeting to start, car repairs, appointment, etc. Anyone else Sudoku?


jo said...

I can tell you I'd heard of these puzzles but wasn't inclined to do one until two years ago while I spending the Thanksgiving week at my brother's. His wife is a numbers person, whereas my brother and I are word people. At their house each day she picks the puzzles out of the paper and makes a copy for each person in the house and they have a timed contest to see who can finish first. I'm very SLOW and can only finish up to the three star puzzles I get very frustrated after that! I'm about to spend another week during New Year's so I guess I'll get my fill before too long.

PurpleNepenthe said...

I prefer 3 or less stars myself. I actually have to do heavy thinking if I go higher. The BrainBashers puzzle is a good one for a daily challenge.