Sudoku: Many of you by now have either played Sudoku or know of the game. If you haven’t, Sudoku is a numeric puzzle game traditionally consisting of a 81-block table (9 rows and 9 columns), grouped into 9 sets. See below for a sample:
As you can see, there are some numbers already placed within the grid. This is how the puzzle begins. Using the numbers 1 through 9, you need to fill in each set with the nine numbers, ensuring that each number is used only once in each row and column. If that is confusing, use the solved puzzle below as a visual guide:
If we take the middle number in the middle set (in this case, number 1), you will see that it is the only occurrance within that set, row, and column. All other numbers in the puzzle meet the same criteria, therefore the puzzle is solved correctly. See sample below:
Now if the puzzles are too easy for you in the classic layout, there are numerous variations popping up daily to add additional challenges for you to overcome. My personal favorite is Samurai Sudoku, which takes 5 classic Sudoku layouts and overlaps them. Normally, you cannot solve each section of the Samurai without some interaction from one of the overlapping sections, and in some cases, you are working on all five at once. View the following example:
If Sudoku puzzles sound like fun to you, there are two sites which I recommend:
– Web Sudoku (This site will record your time, so you can compete against yourself.)
– Samurai Sudoku (This site posts puzzles that increase in difficulty as the week progresses.)
Take the time to try the puzzles out, starting with the easy puzzles and increase the difficulties as your comfort level increases. It is well worth the time.