Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hooked on Sudoku

It started innocently enough.

I knew my husband liked Sudoku puzzles, that during his lunch hour he did the puzzle in the newspaper. For his birthday, I bought him an electronic game that beeps (which can be annoying). My grandsons, naturally fascinated by anything with flashing lights and beeps, began doing the puzzles and now have electronic games of their own.

I resisted. I'd rather read than work with numbers. There's a reason I enter numbers in the checkbook but don't attempt to add or subtract (not without a calculator handy).

A friend of mine was doing them, too. She brought a large book of puzzles with her to a writer's conference we attended and worked on them in the evenings. Since we were rooming together, I was glad it didn't beep.

And still I resisted. Crossword puzzles are wonderful. They use words and that I can deal with. Did you know a pismire is an ant? Amazing the things you learn doing a crossword puzzle. But I was undone when all the evidence shows that the puzzles are good for keeping the mind sharp, and that I wouldn't have to actually add the numbers.

Confession time. Do you already Sudoku? Have you tried the circular ones yet? Have you ever cheated and looked in the back of the book to find the One Number Position that will allow you to solve the rest of the puzzle?

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Georgie Lee said...

I tried Sudoku but it reminded me too much of math :-)
My father-in-law is really into it and so are a couple of people at my work. The books and electronic games are great gifts.

Shari Anton said...

It was that numbers thing that got to me, too. You could subsitute letters, or symbols (like hearts, flowers, hats, whatever :)) and still get the same effect. I wonder if anyone puts out the puzzle with anything but numbers? I'll have to go look.


catslady said...

I've done them but I think they're too time consuming. I'd much rather read a good book! On the other hand I don't mind playing time consuming games on the computer lol.

Shari Anton said...

The easy ones go pretty fast - 10 minutes or so. When you start getting up into the 5 and 6 stars, however, one could take an hour to place one number. ;) This is what kitchen timers are for! LOL!

Barbara Vey said...

I think they're great fun and I'd like to think it's helping me keep the old brain a little sharper. Hey, anything that works at this point.

Shari Anton said...

Maybe by the time we're old (ahem ;)) they'll have a cure for senior moments. Until then ... yep, whatever works!

Diana Holquist said...

I am so addicted to these puzzles.

My brother and his sons are masters, so they showed me all these cool tricks. Not that I'm competitive at all, but it does sting to be out-puzzled by an 11-year-old, so what could I do but practice every day? Twice a day...three times max...

I will go back to my WIP and not do a puzzle I will go back to my WIP and not do a puzzle....


Susan Crandall said...


Got sucked into Sudoku with my daughter. She isn't as numerically challenged as I am. Like many others, I feared I would have to add. Imagine my surprise when I only had to keep track of number appearances. Yes, I've cheated (do I win the $10,000 prize for honesty?).

Still, I prefer crosswords. However, I've now expanded myself to two puzzles a day -- one crossword, one Sudoku. Let's hope it keeps the brain cells functioning, because it's sure eating lots of time!

Anonymous said...

My sister is hooked on them and I refuse to get started. I get the feeling that's gonna be another time suck that I can't afford. LOL.

Liz Kreger