Archive for October, 2005

Monster Sudoku

Announcing the Monster FirstScience.com Sudoku Challenge!

You think filling the numbers 1 to 9 into a 9 x 9 grid is not enough? Well, check out the Monster Sudoku Challenge at FirstScience.com. This beauty is a 25 x 25 grid, and instead of using numbers it uses almost every letter of the alphabet (a – y… No Zzzzzz’s allowed because this column is too much fun to be sleeping through it!).

Enjoy, Tim

 

Puzzler offers addicts seven different challenges on new website

Puzzle publisher, Puzzler Media, has launched an interactive site to cater for fans of seven different puzzle types.

The site boasts more than 12 new posers each day and fans who register for a Puzzle Pass can access content on a subscription basis from £1 for one day to £14.99 for a year.

The site features puzzles from crazes like Sudoku and Hanjie as well as traditional language-based challenges, such as crosswords, word searches, kriss kross, logic puzzles and code crackers.

Neil O’Brien, Puzzler Media’s business development director, said: “Puzzler.co.uk is a crucial element in our overall strategy to deliver puzzle content for all key interactive formats. Whether it’s on mobiles, on interactive TV, in print or on the web, we want to make sure that puzzlers can access content in the way they find most convenient.”

More from Digital Bulletin

 

Too good for Fiendish? Then try Killer Su Doku

The latest twist on Sudoku has come out Japan, called Killer Sudoku.

While it has the same rules (numbers 1 to 9 in each row, column and square), you don’t get any numbers to start with. And this one requires math!

Instead, what you get are dotted lines with numbers in the top left hand corner – the idea is that all of the cells within the dotted line must add up to the number in the top left hand corner.

Hint: Try to identify the groups of cells where you need to either start from the lowest numbers or from the highest numbers to add up to the correct number.

For example, if two cells are joined with the number ‘3’ in the corner, then they must consist of ‘1’ and ‘2’. Or if three cells are joined with the number ‘6’, then they must contain ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’. Or at the ‘high’ end of the scale, if two cells are joined with the number ’17’, then they must contain ‘9’ and ‘8’, and so on.

Of course, exactly where the numbers go within the dotted lines is up to you to figure out!

The creator of Killer Sudoku (or Killer Su Doku) is Tetsuya Nishio, the undisputed grand “puzzle master” of Su Doku: a bespectacled fiend from the darkest suburbs of Tokyo who spends his every waking hour devising abominable new ways to torture our brain cells.

“Of course I have recently read in the Japanese press about the extraordinary Su Doku boom in the UK and I was very happy to see it happening,” says the puzzle master, “but Britain has not had the puzzles for long enough to become fully used to their complexities. This new variation will be a dreadful challenge for you.”

See how you go with the puzzles in the Times Online.

Then get your daily fix at DJApe.net.

Enjoy,
Tim

 

GadgetryBlog: Carol Vorderman’s Touch Screen Sudoku

Check out this review of Carol Vorderman’s Touch Screen Sudoku.

It is a handheld electronic game where you ‘tap’ on the screen with the supplied stylus (like a pen that doesn’t work on paper!).

More from GadgetryBlog

 

Welsh student crowned British Sudoku champion

An 18-year-old Welsh maths student who has been crowned Britain’s finest exponent of Sudoku.

Nina Pell, from Monmouth, who is a first-year student at Sheffield University, solved what was thought to be the hardest version of the puzzle ever published in the UK in just 13 minutes and 48 seconds.

More from icWales

 

Burlington Puzzle Museum caters to Sudoku nuts

Check out the Burlington Beat for details about Burlington’s Logic Puzzle Museum.

Judith Schulz runs the museum and is offering the one-hour workshops. There are still spaces available for the 6 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Saturday sessions. To register, call (262) 763-3946. There is a $5 charge for the class.

 

Sudoku fans say there is no mystery to their addiction

No one even knew what Sudoku was a few months ago, let alone how to pronounce it.

Now, more than a few people are addicted to figuring out these number puzzles.

Just ask Mary Jane Jones of Tuscola about her husband’s Sudoku addiction.

‘You can tell he is retired,’ she said and laughed about how her husband does the Sudoku puzzles every day.

Stephanie Idle, a special education teacher at Mount Zion Intermediate School, likes new challenges.

“I love the game. It is addicting,” said Idle, who often works the puzzle with her daughters, ages 14 and 16. They often compete with each other to see who can finish it the fastest.

The puzzle is basically troubleshooting, problem solving and doesn’t require a vocabulary like crossword puzzles do, Idle said. She admits her strategy is going down each column and row, checking what numbers are the same and filling in the blank boxes without repeating the same numbers.

“Sounds easy, but it does become a process of elimination,” she said.

But now Idle has introduced the puzzle to her fourth- and fifth-grade students who have learning disabilities.

She went to www.edhelper.com on the Internet to find easier Sudoku puzzles to pass out to them.

“It doesn’t require reading, it doesn’t require any math. And I’m so proud of my students for being able to get the puzzle done,” she said excitedly and is even planning to make the puzzles part of her classroom curriculum.

More from Herald & Review

 

Mastiff Announces Sudoku for Game Boy Advance

Video game publisher Mastiff announced today that they will publish Sudoku for the Game Boy Advance handheld video game system, the first of a series of Sudoku products that Mastiff will be bringing to game systems.

The Sudoku video game features hundreds of puzzle problems, a tutorial mode, help for those moments when you really are stuck, the ability to ‘pencil in’ possible solutions, and a puzzle problem creation mode. The game is expected to be available February 10, 2006.

More…

 

Women leave men trailing at the inaugural British championship

For the archetypal puzzle-solving, pen-sucking, mildly obsessive but essentially minding-his-own business British male (pipe optional, nerdish streak compulsory), it was an arresting moment. Women not only triumphed at the weekend’s first Times National Su Doku Championship, they ruled the roost.

It has long been one of the quiet little (guilty?) secrets of the Su Doku phenomenon that there are as many women addicts and dabblers as men. What was not clear, until the weekend, though, was the clear superiority of women over men.

More from The Times Online

Note – Subscribers to The Sudoku Daily Challenge (scroll to the top right hand corner to sign up) are fairly well represented between males and females, with just a few more being female than male.

Enjoy – Tim

 

Su Doku children make light work of ‘fiendish’ grids

Geographical remoteness proved no obstacle for child competitors at the first Times National Su Doku Championships on Sunday.

One contestant cut short a school trip to Venice to travel to Cheltenham, while another undertook an eight-hour journey from his home in Aberdeen.

Many of the 85 children, aged 6 to 16, who took part in the competition at Cheltenham Ladies’ College also accused the judges of setting puzzles that were too easy.

The 12-16 age group sat a difficult grid, while the younger children were given a moderate one. Most were disappointed at not being faced with the challenge of a fiendish grid.

Francesca Nichol, 15, from Glastonbury, Somerset, who came second in the 12-16 age group, spoke for them all when she said: “It was too easy, far too easy. You must make it harder next time.”

More in The Times Online

 

Experience The Mind Challenge Of The Year With PC Sudoku

GamesIndustry.biz – Experience The Mind Challenge Of The Year With PC Sudoku: “On Games and Sherwood Media are finalizing the European release of PC Sudoku, the ultimate PC port of the successful Puzzle Game, at 9.95 euro.”

More…

 

Resco Sudoku for Pocket PC

Check out this review of Resco Sudoku by Dave’s iPAQ.

“A new game has been released by Resco and it is very cool! RESCO Sudoku has several levels of play, skinable and has a Puzzle solver….but what is even better is that there are FREE lifetime upgrades. ”

Enjoy, Tim

 

Six-letter Word for $$$? Sudoku!

People the world over are furrowing their brows over Sudoku. The game that has had Britain in its grip for the past year now appears in most major American newspapers and has spawned bestselling books, a TV show, computer programs, tournaments, and countless addictions. Not since the Rubik’s Cube pandemic of 1980 or the crossword craze of 1924-25 has a puzzle generated this much madness – and unbridled commerce.

“The craze, judging by history, will last four, five, six months, and then it will taper off,” says Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword and high priest of puzzling. “But I think the underlying appeal of Sudoku will make it last forever. It’s not just hype. If you do the puzzle, it’s very easy to get hooked.”

More from Fortune

 

Sudoku craze ‘could revive interest in mathematics’

The Sudoku craze could spur renewed interest among young people in mathematics, according to the nation’s top mathematician.

Poor numeracy, the parlous state of mathematics education and lack of suitably-qualified teachers have concerned many great minds including that of Sir Michael Atiyah, the winner of the Abel Prize, mathematics’ equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Although Sudoku is a far cry from Sir Michael’s work on the ‘Atiyah-Singer index theorem’, one of the great landmarks of 20th century mathematics, he believes that the puzzle could kindle more interest in the subject among young people.

‘All kinds of mathematical games are a good thing,’ said Sir Michael, who was speaking to mark his appointment today as the new President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

From The Telegraph

 

Sudoku Puzzle Trend Sweeping Chicago

From trains and planes to coffee shops, people are playing Sudoku. It’s a logic puzzle that took Asia and Europe by storm.

Now, Chicagoans are asking, ‘Can you Sudoku?’

Take a nine-by-nine grid, throw in several given numbers — and you’ve got Sudoku.

‘I got hooked on it cause my mom got hooked on it,’ one loyal player said.

The rules are each column, row and three-by-three box must contain the numbers one to nine only once.

‘It’s not a math puzzle, it’s a logic puzzle,’ another player explained.

It’s a kind of logic that drives some to distraction.

More at NBC5.com.

 

Sudoku named word of the year

Sudoku, the name of the Japanese logic puzzle that has taken Britain by storm — has been named ‘word of the year’ by the Language Report published Wednesday.

Author Susie Dent said sudoku ‘burst onto the scene’ in a fraction of the time it would have taken a new word to establish itself even 10 years ago, indicating a shift in the now multicultural English language.

Dent said language gives insight into popular social preoccupations of the time — including sudoku — and allows for historical comparisons to be made in leisurely pursuits by studying linguistic novelties.

From The Japan Times Online

 

Popular Sudoku Grids for your Mobile

If your mobile phone can surf the web, then you can get puzzles for FREE from the good folks at sudokusolver.co.uk.

Enjoy, Tim

 

Word to the wise: pencils.

On Monday, a Google search for “sudoku” turned up 10 million hits. On Tuesday, the number jumped to 10.3 million. Sudoku, it appears, is an honest-to-gosh phenomenon. And its days do not appear to be numbered.

In September the puzzles made publishing history, cracking national bestseller lists with three sound-alike titles: ‘The Book of Sudoku’ (Overlook Press, $9.95), ‘Sudoku Easy to Hard’ (St. Martin’s Press $6.95) and the inevitable ‘Su Doku for Dummies’ (Wiley, $9.99).

This is no mean feat in the publishing world, especially since two of those books consist of pages with nothing on them but boxes and numbers. But such is the appeal of sudoku, a wildly popular pastime that may singlehandedly bring back the pencil.

Sudoku also may bring back something called logic, because it requires players to think in two directions at once and make Sherlock Holmesian deductions based on the process of elimination.

Word to the wise: pencils.

More from the North Jersey Media Group

 

Sudoku ku-ku

I guess it’s fair to say that not everyone shares our love of Sudoku.

Check out these comments by Chris Harris from the Los Angeles Times

“The word ‘Sudoku’ comes from the Japanese words ‘sudo,’ meaning ‘a 9-by-9 grid,’ and ‘ku,’ meaning ‘one must complete so that each row, column and subgroup of 3-by-3 squares contains exactly one of each digit from 1 through 9 in it.’

If you succeed in this task, you are rewarded with a hollow, vaguely dissatisfied feeling about the way you’ve just spent your time.”

Ah well, each to their own! Now gimme another puzzle…. 🙂

Tim