I realize this likely reveals just how out of touch I am, but:

WTF is Sudoku?

Wherefore the insanity? Can you explain the appeal? Anybody?

12 thoughts on “Okay”

  1. Sudoku is one of those things that sounds completely unappealing and bizarre until the first time you do it and actually manage to fill one of those pointless-looking little boxes–at which point it suddenly becomes completely hypnotic and addictive.
    I thought it was a truly strange fad until someone showed me how to do it. Now I am a total Sudoku queen. Can’t…stop…filling in those boxes!

  2. Try one – Steph is right, they are completely addictive. I’m sure your local paper has them and if not, there are quite a few sudoku sites online (my mother likes The Daily Sudoku). The rules are very simple – every row in the 9×9 board has to contain the numbers 1 through 9. So do every column and every 3×3 box. It therefore follows that no number can appear more than once in any row, column, or box. You use the numbers already on the board to determine which number goes where. The amount of squares already filled in, and the placement of numbers on the board, determines the game’s difficulty level.
    There are also 12×12 sudokus, and even 16×16, but they are simply mean.

  3. As a crossword fan, I find sodukos _very_ boring… there is no punnery/word play, just filling in boxes of numbers.
    Though I think it would be fun to watch some kind of Wrestlemania/Quizbowl between a team of Soduko-ers and a team of Crossworders. Maybe Double Dare would be the appropriate forum.

  4. I am also on the outside of this fad. I suspect that it’s for the same people who find Minesweeper compelling–there’s a set of logical rules that you can use to solve the problem, and the same rules & approach will solve every instance. Consequently, once you’ve done a couple of them, there is nothing new in any future ones. Just like Minesweeper.
    From what I can tell from my addicted friends, there is some bizarre satisfaction derived from the exercise itself. I suspect there’s a deep-brain logic where our heavily built-in pattern recognition systems are being tiggered, and there’s some reinfocing sense of accomplishment from completing the things.

  5. It’s perhaps telling about the circles in which I move that I know three people whose first reaction, when confronted with the existence of Sudoku, was to sit down and write a computer program to solve the generalised case of the puzzle.

  6. I’d never heard of them until I found out my father is a fan. It took him less than two minutes to explain the rules, and I suspect that is a LOT of the appeal.
    They make sudoku for kids that use animals instead of numbers. I find those much more absorbing than the adult version, probably also because they’re easier…

  7. I’m thinking I can safely continue to ignore this. I’ve never liked any kind of Minesweeper or Solitaire or any game like that. Except those invisible ink books you could get when you were a kid. Those were the best.

  8. Minesweeper is a pattern-matching game? I always thought it was a see-how-often-you-can-randomly-point-and-click-til-you-lose game. I love crosswords, but I have little enough time as it is. Sudoku might be terrific and challenging fun, but it’s definitely the word play and punnery that keeps me coming back to crosswords — not the pattern recognition or puzzle. And puzzles like that have a nasty habit of getting stuck in my brain, which makes the already difficult task of writing even more so.

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