At a conference recently, I asked a delegate from Japan about Sudoku (??, sudoku) presuming that he, being from the originating country, would have some insights I didn't. Oddly enough he hadn't heard of it. Is this Japanese game sweeping the world, save Japan?
From WebSudoku.com: The rules of Sudoku are simple. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.
Folks seem obsessed with it. When I came upon the puzzle I figured it was a fluke, a curiosity, but then I noticed that American Airlines had Sudoku proudly displayed next to their Crossword Puzzles in the in-flight magazine. It's big in the UK. Some are 'unsolvable' (really hard, no logic applies). PocketMod includes pages with generated Sudoku puzzles.
Personally, I did a few, found it hard, found it interesting, but not that engaging. I mean, it doesn't tickle the nice parts of my brain like Crosswords. I feel that Crosswords require thinking, while Sudoku requires processing. Maybe that's not phrased well, but I think that since most programmers first instinct is to write a solver, and some write the solver faster than they can solve the puzzle just proves my point. Computers are a tool, my brain is not a computer. But, my brain can use a computer to solve a Soduku better than by itself. Trying to make my brain work like a computer just makes it ache.
BTW, don't mis-spell it, because Soduku is rat-bite fever!
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.