Little boxes and numbers

Posted: 09/30/2005 in books, Daily Grumbling

Yesterday I tried my hand at my first sudoku puzzle. They appear to have infiltrated newspapers, magazines and bookstores in a crop circle like manner. Where did they come from, and what was in its place before? Three hours in and I had driven myself mad. I was crossed eyed, brow permanently furrowed and enough steam pouring from my ears to power a small generator. I was as far away from planet fun as I could imagine, and had started to experience magic eye flashbacks. Which I still firmly maintain is a poster version of the emperor’s new clothes syndrome. One person claims to see a unicorn dancing with a little green man, and suddenly everyone standing next to them can see it too. Apart from yours truly of course.

I digress, I temporary abandoned the puzzle and headed up town to a Barnes and Noble meet the writer event – Alexander McCall Smith. I had about 40 minutes or so to kill so I thought I’d give the little fracker another shot. This time armed with a latte, I fully read the instructions and all became clear. Cherubs sang and angels wept, as I realised that each 3×3 box had to contain 1-9 AS WELL AS the horizontal and vertical! I had spend three hours trying to solve the unsolvable, because if you don’t take into consideration the 3×3 situation you might has well trial and error yourself into oblivion!!!!

Needless to say I was able to speedily complete my first sudoku puzzle. I quite enjoyed approaching something in a methodical and logical manner, and being able to phase out the need for trial and error. I might stick to the easy level for a while though.

Alexander McCall Smith was as delightful and courteous as when I saw him last year. He spoke about his “serial” affliction, and if he has the writers kind then I definitely have the readers variety. When answering questions he was able to rattle off an amusing anecdote about W.H. Auden coming to speak in Edinburgh in the early 70s. Just imagine perhaps in 30 years time perhaps I’ll be reminiscing about Alexander McCall Smith reminiscing about W.H Auden! I duly purchased a copy of the next installment in The Sunday Philosophy Club series ‘Friends, Lovers, Chocolate’ and will try to resist breaking into it until Columbus Day weekend.

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