About me
Archive
About me

The Sudoku craze rumbles on

close

Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

The number puzzles Sudoku, first brought to Britain by The Times earlier this year, spawned something of a craze. A craze I covered in some detail. So it feels right to do some kind of six-months-on follow-up.




Well, I’m still doing Sudoku. My favourite puzzles by far are those published in The Guardian, as they actually have that bit more sense to them, being hand-made in pretty patterns rather than the computer-generated versions most of the other papers have. They’re just nicer.

As well as the old Sudoku, though, a whole new raft of puzzle variations have arrived. The Daily Mail’s innovations are Sudoku X, which also includes diagonals, and Super Sudoku X, which includes a whole other set of boxes. The Mail’s efforts sadly seem to make the puzzle somewhat easier, but more protracted in actually solving it. That is, the puzzle is no more challenging, it just takes longer. The Times has experimented with several formats, including Alphadoku (exactly the same as Sudoku but with letters), Samurai Sudoku (which has five interlocking grids), Dodeka Sudoku (which is the usual but on a 12×12 grid), Superior Sudoku (which I don’t really understand why is different), and – most recently and prolifically – Killer Sudoku. This involves a normal Sudoku grid, but with the addition of small korals of letters bordered by a dotted line, with the total given for that group of letters. In this way, no numbers (or very few) are given initially, and the player has to find them all. Personally, whilst I find Killer Sudokus quite enjoyable, the challenge is essentially the same for the most part, and you simply have to factor in a single additional variable. Still, they’re worth a try.

More enjoyable in my opinion, though, is the completely different puzzle of Kakuro, which first appeared when the Guardian relaunched. In this puzzle, the player is presented with a the total for a given run of numbers, and must slot them into a grid. It has some similarities to Sudoku, and is even more similar to Killer Sudoku, but moves away from the basic Sudoku logic, to give a completely different puzzle. It’s clearly, therefore, more satisfying to attempt the paper’s Sudoku and its Kakuro, because it doesn’t feel like you’re doing the same thing twice. Kakuro is also now published in the Daily Mail, but once again, to me, The Guardian’s seem superior, with a definite process, whereas the Mail’s just seem random.

Neither The Mail nor The Guardian have seen fit to publish Kakuro on their website, but there are plenty of Kakuro websites about, including this, this, and this.

With the introduction and marketing of other Sudoku products (witness the DVD, electronic and board games, not to mention the ever-increasing plethora of books – links to the best of which appear on the right), the Sudoku craze shows no sign of slowing down. Susie Dent has even made Sudoku the Word of the Year. Which might be taking things a bit far.

Either way, I just hope that everyone stays addicted to the country’s leading number puzzles. Because if they don’t, then the papers might stop printing them… and whatever will I do then? 😉

This 779th post was filed under: Headliner.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

A Week in My Life (published 4th February 2005)

Photo-a-day 141: Weetslade Country Park (published 20th May 2012)

Terrorist attacks on London (published 7th July 2005)

Photo-a-day 68: Dog fouling doodles (published 8th March 2012)


Comments and responses

No comments or responses to this article have been published yet.

Compose a new comment



Comment

You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.



The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.