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Not even Will Shortz can make Sudoku interesting - 1370°C

May. 1st, 2006

10:31 pm - Not even Will Shortz can make Sudoku interesting

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So, last week, i gave into the hype: the tons of Sudoku books sitting on the display shelves of book shops, the chattering of many a person about how fun they are, the scads of people Sudoku-ing in public places, the inclusion of this little game in our premier newspapers. I went online and tried Sudoku.

I started with easy ones, as you do. I was done my first one in about 2 minutes. "Hrm," thought i, "perhaps 'easy' is just too easy." Fine. In my great tradition of extremes in moderation, i launched right to the uber-hard section. I finished this puzzle in just over 5 minutes. "Ok, clearly a random internet site is not the place to search for good Sudoku puzzles, Will Shortz edits some Sudoko puzzles, and since his NY Times crossword puzzles go from easy to impossibly hard, he'll have some good ones."

No. Sudoku was amusing for the few moments that it took me to learn it, but the more of them i did (and mind you, i did only a handful) the faster i got, no matter how hard they were meant to be. The longest i spent on one was 10 minutes, and at that point, i was getting so bored with the idea that i was paying attention to several other things at the same time.

It's a damn shame, it seemed like such a good idea, and i'd have loved to have something to suppliment my crossword puzzleness. Sadly, Sudoku is the new opiate of the masses. It is to crossword puzzles as putting a round peg in a round hole is to civil engineering. It's as challenging as a very unchallenging thing.

Current Mood: chagrinned

Comments:

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From:ickle_tayto
Date:May 1st, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
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there's a different format involving numbers and letters aswell which is meant to be harder.
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:May 1st, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
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Oh yeah? That might be better. I was thinking of trying kakuro, but the math bit of it doesn't appeal to me as much as just a number-pattern sort of thing.
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From:__mjk
Date:May 1st, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
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So perhaps a hexidecimal based soduku is in order? Unless that is what the hard one was. :)
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From:tearsofzorro
Date:May 2nd, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
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The times online do a good range of 'em.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,18209,00.html

For some reason I've never been able to complete superior sudokus.

As for difficulty ratings, it can REALLY vary from source to source. I mean, there's one and I wouldn't trust 'em at all, like a lot of the rags (where you sit down to their 'advanced' section and work it out quite quickly - although Herald AM (a free paper on the busses over here) has a pretty hard advanced section).Actually wikipedia expresses this far better than I can.

Actually, as a matter of habit I work backwards in difficulty ratings, just because I find a lot of them quite easy, so it's easier to find my level this way.

One of the oncampus papers nicks theirs from http://piranhasudoku.com/ - although it's a mobile-phone based one, but they have a few daily ones.

One site I particularly like (not that I've gone hunting for these puzzles for a while) is: http://dailysudoku.com/sudoku/index.shtml

You'll probably find a few that are incredibly hard amongst that lot... in which case you'll probably end up like me - unable to find a happy medium between insufferably easy and something that seems far to hard for something with only 81 squares.
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From:_wirehead_
Date:May 2nd, 2006 10:55 am (UTC)
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huh. i find them fun, since i like logic puzzles, but past the easy ones they are so challenging to me that i get frustrated and can't do them. i guess my brain doesn't quite work the right way.
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:May 3rd, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
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On of the Vets at my work says that she's read that some people can just see the patterns in those things with hardly any effort. It's some hard-wired thing. I guess it's nice to know i have *some* talent, even if it's a dumb one.
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From:sinaesthesia
Date:May 2nd, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
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On a completely different note, I have a small box of papery-crafty goodness for you.
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:May 3rd, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
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Oooh. Yay.

On yet another note, are we still doing some sort of charity thing at the Burlesque show? I'd still like to help if it's happening, but otherwise, i likely won't go.
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From:sinaesthesia
Date:May 3rd, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
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Yes, just a basic donation booth, with a donation jar and information about local and national domestic violence groups/charities. There is another girl willing to help as well, so there are three of us altogether.
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