## Why Sudoku Sucks!

written by treybean on September 26th, 2005 @ 02:51 PM

I just completed my first sudoku puzzle. For those of you who haven’t heard about them, sudoku puzzles is a style of arrangement puzzles made up of a 3×3 square and within these 9 squares are nine smaller squares. When you start a new game, a few of the squares are filled in with numbers. The object: fill in all squares so that each of the nine large squares, as well as each row and column contain all of the numbers 1 thur 9.

Interesting puzzle idea, except it’s just boring. One quickly discovers the basic stratagem and from there it is a simple plug and rearrange as necessary process that leaves you with a grid of numbers. Whoop-de-doo!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with crossword puzzles, which require at the bare minimum a sliver of intelligence served with a side of wit. And when you’re finished you are presented with not only a grid on interconnected words, but a theme, usually enough to cause a grin, if not only for the cleverness of the author.

It is this connection with the author that I value most in my crossword solving. Someone spent hours, if not days, labouring over a ten-letter word whose fourth and fifth letters are ‘g’ and ‘l’ and it’s seventh and eighth are ‘d’ and ‘y’. And if she doesn’t find it, then her theme won’t work and the puzzle is a bust.

I spent many weeks writing my own puzzle and after that experience, every puzzle I look at I respect. Sure there are some that have a trite theme or contain too many “_ to a poet” clues, but nothing as mindless as the creation of a sudoku puzzle. You want me to make one for ya? Give me a second. No really.

• Sam on 07 Nov 13:26

Right on. Finally, someone agrees. Everywhere I turn it’s sudoku this, sudoku that. Yawn.

• Trey Bean on 07 Nov 15:23

Amen to that. Glad to see I’m not the only one. Just this weekend, Erin and I finished a friday new york times – no sudoku puzzle will ever come close to that sense of accomplishment.

• gg on 10 Dec 03:19

Sudoku fucking sucks… A machine could pump out that shit out 24/7 while and a monkey could solve it just as fast.

• null on 24 Dec 03:54

You are right on! Sudoku sucks. Lame, lame, lame!

GM

• Bobby Castorani III on 05 Jan 08:05

I’m glad someone sees how fucking stupid these things are and has the guts to say anything. People will like anything that’s hot in Japan these days! What’s next,

• Bobby Castorani III on 05 Jan 08:06

Paper doors?

• Tim G on 08 Jan 03:17

I had never heard of Sudoku before receiving a book of such puzzles for Christmas. I’m glad I got the book because I enjoyed the challenge of writing a computer program to solve the puzzles. Through simple direct and indirect elimination, my program could solve about sixty percent of the puzzles. I improved my program so that it would continue with suppositions. If the supposition led to a contradiction, another elimination was made. This upgrade allowed me to solve the remaining puzzles in the book.

I agree that solving Sudoku by hand is a routine diversion.

Incidentally, the author of the book was Will Shortz, the crossword editor of The New York Times.

• Trey Bean on 11 Jan 08:41

No. Not Will. Maybe it’s just to reinforce his passion for the crossword.

• Ken on 27 Jan 00:31

Yap 100% sucks. Now comes in handheld, selling at \$5. Can throw into rubbish bin.

• Alexi on 19 Feb 23:19

Yeah, I agree that Sudoku sucks. At school, my teacher passes them out to kids, and she asks me if I want one sometimes. Even though I have specifically stated that I hate them.

• Patrick on 01 Jun 05:59

Oh, I dunno. I just did my first three sudoku puzzles within the past couple days (yeah, I’m a late starter). The ones marked Easy required some work on my part, and I still haven’t quite solved the Medium-difficulty one (had to start over twice due to mistakes).

I bought the sudoku book for my wife, who hates crossword puzzles because in order to solve them you have to know or learn a bunch of obscure words. She likes the idea of sudoku precisely because it doesn’t require any arcane knowledge.

As to the guy who wrote a computer program to solve sudoku puzzles—well, that may have been a clever exercise in itself, but of course it’s a pointless one. Sudoku exists for the purpose of exercising certain mental functions; and if you use a computer to solve the puzzle, you don’t get that exercise.

Does sudoku suck? Well-does solitaire suck? Does chess suck? Do push-ups suck? All these things have at least one clear benefit-exercise. The last one is a physical workout; the others are mental workouts.

Yeah, from a certain point of view, it’s stupid to run for an hour on a treadmill and not get anywhere. But how much less stupid is it to run around a track? Or run in a big circle and end up where you started?

With sufficient cynicism, most anything starts looking pointless and futile.

All I know is that it took some real work for me to do the sudoku puzzles I did. It exercised a part of my brain that must not often get exercised. Nothing spectacular about that, but I’d say it counts for something. Who knows—maybe it’ll even stave off Alzheimer’s or something.

• Andrew on 23 Aug 01:33

TOTALLY AGREE, such mindless computing that has no end result except a bunch of meaningless numbers in rows and colums.

Crosswords are sooo much more rewarding, they not onyl take time to make, but complete, and it leaves you with a sense of self pride when you complete say the New York Times Sunday edition…

• Nelli on 07 Mar 15:54

In solving Sudoku apparently one uses associative memory it seems. In a way in solving a crossword, one has to be good at words. Here all you are using is numbers 1 to 9. So you will concentrating on the grid lot more than a crossword.

I agree with the alzheimer’s quote. I have solved every one of the sudoku puzzle i came accross. Yeah…including the 5 stars!!

• nelli on 07 Mar 16:27

Well…i think its Will Shortz.

• Sheeba on 11 Jul 12:22

jail fucking sucks!!!!!!!

• Sheeba on 11 Jul 12:22

jail fucking sucks!!!!!!!

• ron jeremy on 14 Jan 00:30

Sudoku sucks big donkey balls!!

• steve on 28 Jun 18:25

I hate sudoku! I’ve tried it and beat a couple puzzles but there’s no point to it. Anyone that says “it’s relaxing” is just on massive amounts of depressants because it will destroy your brain. And F** society if a certain blonde hotel heiress started wearing hunting boots then every other Dmned fool would too. people play this game just because everyone else does!!!