My Number’s Up

Is it just me, or is this Soduku, “the craze that is sweeping the nation,” thing is a bit of a bust? It seems to have simultaneouly appeared in every newspaper in the land without warning and it’s a ‘craze’ because they tell us so. (Oh, and Daily Mail, we didn’t hear it from you first: It was in the Manchester Evening News the day before.)

But back to the point. What’s the appeal? Me and numbers never did add up. I much prefer problems that involve words. Not that I disbar numbers as an absolute rule. Perfect squares was a childhood distraction — sticking four Swan Vestas matchboxes together, each box sleeve containing cut out numbers, a grid on top to place them on. The perfect square.

So here’s one for you. Below is a four by four square. Take the numbers 1 – 16. Make each column and row add up to 34. And the four quadrants come to 34. And the centre quadrant add up to 34. Oh, and the the four corners should be the same, not to mention the opposing middle two numbers.

Tough, but it can be done. And no doubt someone will tell me that Soduku is exactly the same. The answer will be available on request.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

• Ashwin Amanna 25th May 2005

I'm the exact opposite. I hate crossword or jumble puzzles. But had a great time with Soduku. Soduku is a puzzle that tests applied logic rather than one's command of vocabulary so it is appealing across language barriers and age.

• smartypants 29th May 2005

Well, speaking as as a highly experienced player of sodyouco (or however you spell it) (I've already solved 4 of the things), I can't really see the attraction. I mean, once you've worked out how to solve them, the rest is just routine. Or am I missing something? I usually do.

If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't. (Lyell Watson)

• Anonymous 22nd July 2005

I really liked Soduku because it didn't test your knowledge of things such as crossword puzzles and doesn't test your eyesight such as wordsearches. It is logic and you have to find out the different techniques how to solve them. I don't think this should be the next craze of the nation, but you can't crash it just because it is the same as the thing that was already out.

• Anonymous 27th August 2005

Can anyone tell me the number of valid combinations which would fit the SUDOKU grid