Sunday, December 3, 2006

Teaching of Sudoku

You know it's a slow week when you solved a sudoku puzzle and decided to blog about it.

Here it is, the first puzzle I solved, found in a copy of Malaysian Today, finished in under 15 minutes as I snacked on nuggets and slurped on Sprite in a Burger King outlet.

Hey, that's pretty quick, and easy too. Or didn't you notice what is written above the puzzle?
Not very challenging but I could use the encouragement. I tried another on The Star newspaper. This is much more difficult, took me about an hour but there is no rating given.
See how much messier this puzzle is? Not as straightforward as puzzle # 1, that's for sure. Called for a lot more brain power but I enjoyed it. I got so hooked that I went through the stack of old newspaper for more sudoku puzzles and stayed up late into the night cracking the puzzle. I can proudly say that I can solved most of the puzzle between half to a full hour.

When I got my hand on the newspaper on Saturday morning, again I looked at the new puzzle. OK... this is a hard one. I made a single mistake and could not solve it. Tried again until I reached a deadlock. There just simply isn't enough clue to go on and I have went way past the time frame of one hour. I digged out more puzzles, hoping to learn some new trick from them. Every time I solved one, I went back to this difficult puzzle but I was still stuck.

With nowhere else to turn to, I visited for some hints. However, every tricks they taught there I have already learnt from previous puzzles and none can get me closer to solving this puzzle. However, the site advised that when all else fail, pick one square with 2 possible answer, choose one and see where it takes you. That's it? The sudoku puzzle is reduced to a game of trial and error? I always thought the puzzle can be solved wholly by logic but apparently, there are what is known as diabolical puzzle with plenty of dead ends that require "advanced solving stategies or intelligent guessing". This must be one of them, albeit a relatively easy level of a diabolical puzzle. I think.

But I guess life's like that. Sometimes we are faced with choices which each seems equally good (or equally bad) and all the analysis and reasoning and pro & con weighing in the world are not able to help us make a decision. Rather than be stuck in a deadlock, it is best that we make a quick and firm decision and see where it takes us. After all, in life, more often than not, we regret more about the things we didn't do than the things we did. How enlightening.

Sudoku. Fun way to spend your time and gives you live lesson as well. What more can you ask for? Oh, I did solve the puzzle in the end. If you are interested to see that, look for the puzzle published in The Star on Dec 2, 2006. I recreated the puzzle here as well. As you can imagine, my original copy is pretty messed up.

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