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Old July 23rd, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Default Sudoku, anyone?

I'm quite certain that I'm not the only one here who has gotten hooked on the Japanese puzzle phenomenon called Sudoku. It's a numbers puzzle which can range in degree of difficulty from "easy" to "medium" to "hard" to uggggh!!

I got into it only recently, and already I can't wait to attack the next Sudoku. And lo & behold! Today's Orlando Sentinel finally got on the bandwagon with a big spread in the Life&Times section.

If you haven't heard of it, or haven't yet "gotten involved", I highly recommend giving it a try. In my case, it's a sure cure for oncoming dementia.<S> And the crossword puzzles have taken a back seat, at least for now. I look forward to your comments.

Jack (Sudoku-san)

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Old July 23rd, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

I will have to ck into this Jack..at first though, I thought you had come up with some kind of new food dish. Hmmmm...but I will look at this Sudoku game. I do love numbers.

John ( who ate the numbers in alphabet soup )

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Old July 23rd, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

It looks like you're the only one interested in a real challenge thus far, John. So let me give you a little info:

These puzzles consist of a grid with 9 rows and 9 columns, divided into 9 3x3-square "boxes" and 81 squares (9 squares to a box).
Each puzzle has several of the squares already filled in with a number between 1 and 9. The "easy" puzzles have between 35 & 40 squares already filled in, while the "medium" and "hard" ones have between 25 & 30 squares filled in. I haven't even tried the "very hard" puzzles yet.

The objective is to fill in the remaining (blank) squares so that each row, column and box has each of the numbers from 1 to 9. Let me tell you, it isn't easy (especially as you start out), but it sure is very challenging and absolutely addictive. A couple of tips:

1) start out by recording at the top of each of the blank squares all of the possible numbers that can be put into that square, remembering that each digit (1-9) can appear only once in each row, column or box. So if the square you're working is in a row already having numbers 2 and 8; in a column having the numbers 5, 7 and 8; and in a box with the pre-existing numbers 2, 5 and 9 , the only numbers that can go into that square are 1, 3, 4 and 6 (numbers not already in the associated row, column or box).

2) once you've written (as small as you can) all of the "possible" numbers in each of the blank squares, you're ready to begin solving the puzzle. If only one number shows up in a blank square (it happens occasionally), then you have a no-brainer and you post that number in that square. As for the remainder, you have to start scanning a) the rows, then b) columns, and finally c) boxes for clues as to which number actually belongs in each blank square. For example, if a number appears in only one square in a row, column or box, then you record that number in that square. By process of elimination, you fill in the rest of the squares until every row, column and box has the requisite numbers 1 thru 9. Are you still with me, bubba?

3) don't guess at which number goes into any square. You have to figure it out logically and mathematically...no guessing! You'll see what I mean as you get started. Begin with the "easy" puzzles, and slowly work your way up to the tougher ones as you gain confidence and skill.

The following website is the best that I've found on the subject: http://www.dailysudoku.co.uk.
Go to "SuDoku Archives", where there are 200 puzzles from Jan.'05 thru July'05. Choose an "easy" puzzle (the're classified as easy, medium, hard and very hard) and print it out. If you then drop down just under the puzzle, you can get and print the solution. However, that should be just a fallback if you run into trouble. I print the solution (without looking at it, of course) on the back of the printed puzzle. So far, I've had to resort to "cheating" only once or twice.<G> It's a lot more fun if you can do it all by yourself.

Good luck. I hope that some of the lurkers out there will get involved with this craze as well, John. I'm sure they and you will find it fascinating. There are books out on the subject, but I haven't bothered to refer to one yet. My sil gave me the same heads-up I'm now giving you, and I've gone from there on my own. If you dig the program "NUMB3RS", you'll really enjoy Sudoku.

Jack



Post Edited (07-24-05 08:29)
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

Jack:

US Today had a story about it a few weeks ago. They also are running a daily. It is a fascinating puzzle, much better than crosswords. Some of them are quite easy; others, not so. Will be interesting to see if it grows or will be a passing fad.

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Old July 23rd, 2005, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

So that's what it's called! I haven't done those in years. They are a lot of fun. Maybe it's the mathematician in me. ( College average--98% math...75% English...65% Typing)

Ed

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Old July 23rd, 2005, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

I haven't heard of it, but I'm a puzzle addict so I better not learn how to play. I now lay in bed at night after working many hours at the restaurant to work the crossword puzzle until way early in the morning.

Nope, don't need another addiction.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

I have done them, but like crosswords more.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

Jack,
Hate Math but love puzzles. Will get oldest child involved, we both love numbers
Anne

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Old July 24th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Sudoku, anyone?

What a coincidence that you should post about this because I just did this puzzle in the newspaper yesterday and loved it. My husband and I love crossword puzzles and I was telling him about this great new puzzle I found. I guess it must be catching on

Gail.
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