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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fine. Be that way.

Sew few que?

Apparently I am the last to hear of the wonderment that is Sudoku. Not since finally figuring out that the guy on "My Name is Earl" doesn't just look like the Rubber Band Man have I felt so out of the loop. If you don't know, or want to try a few online, go here. It is a logic puzzle with a nine by nine grid of squares, with the digits 1 through 9 appearing only once each in each row, column, and each of the nine 3 by 3 squares that make up the larger grid. That is a lot easier to understand with a simple photo ... doot doot doot --- Okay, there should be one pictured above now. There are a few filled in for you to get you started, actually it's necessary for the thing to work at all as a puzzle. Anyone with an eraser could fill in a completely blank grid correctly. In time. And they couldn't very well sell them in book form; graph paper already exists. The fewer digits there are provided, the more difficult. It is a little like the Cryptoquote thing from way back when, do they still put that in the newspapers everyday? The main difference being that with words you have context and your vocabulary to draw from, plus three letter words are easy tip-offs and it was always a fairly well-known quotation. This thing is just numbers, straight logic; if you use it once in a row, column, or (small) square you can eliminate it (in your mind's eye) from that row, column, and square. Simple enough, but I have only managed to solve a couple, in a ridiculously extended length of time for both. Even then, I got earwig-tunneling-through-the-earl-canal headaches that lasted for a good half an hour after putting the thing down. It's embarrassing, but hey, humility is its own reward. Almost as great a reward as nearly getting your ass handed to you in a game of chess with your 11-year-old nephew1.

The great thing about that website, (now the only way I will ever do Sudoku, although I probably won't); is that you can guess, hit the 'how am I doing?' button, and change your wrong answer until you solve it. Like playing Scrabble online2, but something has to fill the hours when Fark is dull.

1But not nearly as bad as taking the game so seriously that you don't cut the kid a break and let him take back the shitty move that allowed you to turn the tide. That would have been humble and gracious. But that ain't how it went down.

2I refuse to play Scrabble or Literati online anymore, everyone has a friggin' cheat page open, the only unknown factor is how long are they going to take pretending to be thinking before they put their tiles down.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger l.b. said...

I only do sudoku when I am at my most desperately bored. Ugh. I guess I am just not a puzzle-y person...


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