?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

New Passion

I realize I’m late to the party, but suddenly I’m taken with Sudoku. That’s the number-placement puzzle that has occurred in various newspapers for years and challenges readers to “insert numbers one to nine into a grid consisting of nine squares subdivided further into nine smaller squares in such a way that every number appears once in each horizontal line, vertical line, and square,” this according to Wikipedia.

Years ago I was given an electronic Sudoku and tried my luck. But she didn’t cooperate. I am more a crossword/Jumble person than a numbers person. Still I know several fanatics.

So when our local newspaper started printing one star versions of the game, I opted in. (One star stands for easy; five stars stand for really difficult.) And found I could do it. So now I wait for the one stars to reinforce how the game is played at least at a basic level. Two stars will be next.

Last night, the paper published a five star; with nothing better to do, I attempted it. Naturally, it was what one calls a “learning experience,” but I did come away with some interesting understand. It seems what makes a puzzle more difficult isn’t the number of squares that are pre-filled. It’s the numbers in the squares themselves. Last night’s puzzle had only one 2 filled in; which means that this number is the challenge.

At least I think so at this point. Tonight I’m returning to one stars to continue my education.

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