Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
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Having now completed The Times Su Doku Book One, I’ve now bought and moved on to Book Two – which is available now, even though it isn’t technically scheduled to be released until 6th June. Sadly, the people at The Times have clearly not had the time to write another introduction or foreword to the second book, as those pages are direct copies from the first. But there are 100 new puzzles, and that would seem to be the most important things.
Also available now is the Telegraph’s Sudoku book, which I haven’t had a proper chance to look at and see whether or not it is much good. Forthcoming titles in this crazy world of puzzle mania include: The Times Su Doku Book Three, The Big Book of Su Doku, The Telegraph Sudoku 2, and The Official Su Doku Puzzle Book: The Utterly Addictive Number-Placing Game, Book 1. I think it’s fairly clear to see that this simple puzzle is turning into a publishing craze, as well as a newspaper craze.
Since I last wrote on this topic, The Guardian have launched a Sudoku section of their website, joining those of The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Mirror, and very possible many others that I’ve missed. The Times and The Sun also now allow you to download Su Doku to your mobile phone.
The Su Doku craze must surely be reaching its peak by now. Even as someone who’s been playing the puzzle for some time, it’s becoming quite tiresome to hear about it constantly. And I even feel obliged to come on here and write about it, because it’s all over the media. I hear that there are even plans to make it into a television show. But for those of you who aren’t tired of the craze, you can click on any of the book titles above to buy them from Amazon, and I’ll get a nice kick-back to keep the site up and running.
Of course, the most interesting question here is not so much about the puzzle itself, as much as it is about why it has become quite as popular as it has. It’s clearly got something to do with the fact that the rules are simple, there is a big feeling of satisfactation upon completing the puzzle, and there’s no prior knowledge required. But that logic could be applied to any number of number puzzles. If the books weren’t making bestseller lists, I would insist that the puzzle isn’t as popular as it appears, and that it’s all a media ploy to get people to buy a particular newspaper. But that suggestion isn’t borne out by the evidence. So why is this craze happening? And how long will it last? As with all things, only time will tell.