Just jumping in to say that I, too, like to waste my time with Sudoku and provide another link: http://www.sudoku.com . Their application is intuitive, it enables pencilmarks and branching when you’re not sure if you’re on the right track. And they give you a whole month to evaluate it before yoe decide whether to buy it or not.
Not to sound like a little shit, but this has been one of the pencil puzzles in Games magazine for about 5 years - I can’t figure out why its suddenly exploded - fun, for sure, and almost all the puzzles are able to be done by anyone, with enought time and thought…
I have a friend in the Chemistry dept. who loves crossword puzzles. I naturally thought of him when I did the September puzzler, and sent it to him. It drove him completely bonkers, kept him up (I think) well past his bedtime and distracted him from more important duties. He finally solved it with a lot of hints from me, and then reviled it as “contrived.”
Back to the OP. I’ve been solving the Soduko puzzles for about a month. I only do the Sundays, since they are the hardest, and I can’t believe how long it takes to solve them. I think they are fun and a good challenge, but given the natural constraints on the puzzle I think the fad will pass quickly. There’s no way to make a theme or be inovative in constructing the puzzles, and there’s no charm to the construction (I bet computers spit them out and humans aren’t even involved).