Those Sodding Puzzles

The perceptive Tom Hume posts about getting puzzles onto mobile phones.  Our own mobile project(s) are beginning to ramp up heavily (we’re even recruiting, so if you know a ZPT-literate web designer who might want a job, let me know), but not in the direction of puzzles.  I think it’ll be interesting to see how someone approaches the problem of making a phone interface do anything as nice as a piece of paper with a puzzle on.

Like many other Brits, I’ve been caught up to some extent in the frenzy of Sudoku.  And being, at the very core of my head, a programmer, I’ve been pondering algorithms for solving them.  I’m not about to post any Python or Java to help here (not yet, at any rate), but what might be useful to others is this worksheet.  The idea’s very simple; the bottom sheet has all the possible numbers for every square shown.  Cross them out with a pen/pencil as they become evidently impossible.  As Sherlock Holmes said, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever’s left must be true.  Although he was a sociopathic junkie, really.  And didn’t do sudoku.

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3 thoughts on “Those Sodding Puzzles

  1. Apparently Sudoku is ‘sweeping the nation’ – however, I’ve only ever seen ONE person doing one!

    I’ve been doing these puzzles for a few weeks and am still picking up techniques. After making loadsa mistakes using pencil and paper, and having to start again from scratch, I started writing a solver but stopped to write this helper instead…

    http://www.sudokumate.com/sudokumate.asp

    – free to use.

    • Definitely worth starting with the easiest ones to work out the techniques. The Guardian has one per day (inside the front cover) starting with the easiest on Monday and ending on Friday with some that can take a fair amount of solving 🙂

      • The Indy has 4 every weekday – graded. Trouble is the crossword takes most of the time so I never do any!

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