Sudoku Solving

I was sitting down to solve a stack of last week’s sudokus (thanks mom) when I was reminded of a popular link last week about solving sudokus systematically. I never read the article because I enjoy solving sudokus and can do it without assistance. I was amused with what Mark Frauenfelder had to say about it on BoingBoing

Maybe this foolproof Sudoku solving algorithm explains why I don’t like Sudoku very much — at least compared to crossword puzzles, which can be clever, surprising, and educational. Sudoku is more like Solitaire, which bores the pants off me.

I’m of the opposite school of thought. Sudokus make sense. There is a logical progression and absolute solution to each one. You can work out the solution from pure deduction. On the other hand crossword puzzles are completely arbitrary and manufactured by the creator to stump the solver. To me this makes crosswords only slightly more legitimate than riddles. A riddle is a manufactured fact. Making up a question that you know the answer to does not make you any more intelligent than the person attempting to answer the riddle.

Comparing sudoku to solitaire isn’t one t0 one either. Solitaire is poorly designed in that you can lose the game before you even start to play if the deck is stacked against you. Seems kind of masochistic to a play a game that you can lose because of no fault of your own. (players would probably enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond) I would compare sudoku players to people who solve Rubik’s cubes even though they already know how. The fun is in motions, not the solution.

One Response to “Sudoku Solving”

  1. Lane says:

    Excellent point. Did you leave a comment on boing boing? Notice he said crosswords “can be” clever, surprising and educational. Most of the time they are not. Most of the clues for crossword puzzles are so lame. I epecially hate it when an author abbreviates a phrase that has never been abbreviated before so he can make two letters connect.

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