Puzzlers & math folk: SUDOKU!

It looks like there’s been a couple of threads that mention Sudoku already. Thought I’d give it another bump.

I did one for the first time this weekend, and I have to say, I loved solving that. I did an easy one, and I could already see the possibility for serious complication.

It looks like this is a site to try one for free.

It’s game of numbers, but isn’t really mathematical. It just requires some logic. I think that crossword doers and anyone who just likes a good puzzle will find it fun.

I’ve been having fun with Sudoku lately, particularly on that site. It’s the same sort of logic game as grid puzzles (syllogisms, Einstein’s puzzles, whatever they might be known by), which I adore. I’ve been getting pretty decent at the Easy puzzles; I think my best time was just over 6 minutes on one.

And no, it’s not math-related at all. You could replace the numbers with letters, pictures of flowers, or any set of 9 discreet objects and it would work just as well. Numbers are easier to organize mentally, though.

I, too, tried my first easy one this weekend and really enjoyed it. I was trying to find a book of them last night at B&N and they looked at me like I was smoking crack. <sigh>

Off to the link, I go…

I stumbled across this a couple of weeks ago visiting New Jersey, but now the Boston Globe has started running it.

I find it addictive. I haven’t failed to solve one yet, but some of them definitely take longer than others.

Er. Discrete objects. Discreet objects would be harder to see. :smack:

Another site is http://www.paulspages.co.uk/sudoku/sudokugallery.htm. The web interface has some useful features, and there’s a good solver’s guide.

Never heard of this before, but they started running them in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Today’s wasn’t hard to solve–it was easy to come up with logical strategies once I had a few numbers in place–but it was labelled “White Belt,” so maybe they’re just softening us up with an easy one.

I regularly do the Sudoku in the Times Newspaper I can complete all but the hardest. Hopefully thanks to the tips provided by the website linked to by Usram I will be able to complete the harder ones.

BTW Carol Vorderman can supposedly complete even the hardest sudoku puzzles in around 19 minutes. Now that is fast, it takes me that long just to do a difficult on a good day.

God, I hate Sudoku. Once I start one I cannot walk away from it, despite the fact that I don’t find them fun. I find them about as thrilling as debugging code. Given that, I should be smart enough not to start them, but noooooooo, whenever I see one I think “Oooo! Sudoku! In defiance of all past experience, I am confident that I will enjoy working this puzzle!”

YMMV, of course. I mean no insult to those of you who enjoy them. For me, they’re an unholy marriage of the tedious and the compelling.

http://www.sudokuhints.com/ is a site I use. In addition to keeping track of candidates, it also offers vague and less vague hints. With this, I’ve been able to solve even the “fiendish” Times puzzles that previously stumped me (which probably means my problems were in accurately noticing and eliminating candidates).

This site also has a feature which puts the layout into the URL (similar to the export/import function on site USRAM mentioned). This makes it possible for you to enter an outside puzzle by manually coding the URL.

I first saw sudoku puzzles a couple of years ago in GAMES magazine. One of their variations was to have different-shaped subregions, i.e., not 3x3.

NEW VARIATION!

The 2005 Google U.S. Puzzle Championship had a sudoku that also has different-shaped subregions. In addition, THE SUBREGIONS WRAP PAST THE EDGES OF THE 9X9 SQUARE!