Friday, February 17, 2012


Sudoku- For those who are unfamiliar with Sudoku, it is a sadistic puzzle devised by the Japanese to torment Americans. For the last couple of years, I have watched a growing number of people work these puzzles.

I tried one several months ago and quit after about an hour of high grade frustration. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give it another try. Let's face it, I have a little more time on my hands now.

Day 1- The puzzle was rated as Level 1, easy. Yeah, right!! After two hours, the second hour sent polishing up some match grade profanity, I gave it up. I called a friend who works the Sudoku everyday and got a little pep talk.

Day 2- This puzzle was a Level 2, a little harder. Level 2, my fanny!! The high grade profanity kicked in at about the 45 minute mark today.

Day 3- Another level 2 puzzle today. I maintained my composure until the 70 minute mark. By that point, the frustration had grown to a point where I was questioning my own intelligence. I stopped and worked the crossword puzzle in 12 minutes (in ink) just to make sure that my brain was still functioning. Needing further affirmation, I knocked out the Word Jumble in 4 minutes. The only question that I couldn't answer was "Why am I working the ##@@## Sudoku?"

Day 4- Level 4 today, very hard. I stunned myself. I maintained my composure and refrained from profanity while I struggled two hours with the puzzle. At the two hour mark, I dropped the Sudoku into the shredder. A warm feeling of satisfaction came over me.

So for the remainder of the next two weeks, I spent an hour or so on the Sudoku almost every day. Still unable to complete one. I mentioned this in an e-mail to The Queen a few days ago. I know that she works the ##@@** thing. At our Wednesday night dinner at church, she brought me a copy of Monday's Sudoku, complete with how she solved it, broken down by numbered steps. Thank you.

So yesterday, I reviewed Monday's puzzle and worked through it following her guide. No Problem. Then I started yesterday's Sudoku, Level 3. Sometime in the afternoon, after more than 4 hours spent on the puzzle, I realized that the ADHD king had slipped into hyperfocus. I worked on the puzzle after dinner at home last night. I ended up spending about 8 hours on it. Did I solve it? NO. I even spent about half an hour on it this morning before deciding that it would be easier to write about it than to solve it.

I'm going to give it one more try today. I am going to call the doctor and see if this will substitute for a stress test on my heart. I'll also put him on alert in case it goes bad.

What have I learned from trying to work the Sudoku?  If you want to quit smoking, drinking, using drugs or cursing, stay away from the ##**## Sudoku. These puzzles are for people with more patience than I.

Here's a few pointers on working Sudoku:
1. Make several copies before starting. The newsprint will wear easily with erasing.
2. Caffeine- I think that the Sudoku must be accompanied with coffee. I don't drink the stuff.
3. Eraser- You will need a large eraser. I wore the eraser off of a new pencil yesterday.
4. Quiet space- In a noisy room, you won't be able to concentrate or hear yourself cuss.
5. Shredder- You will need a shredder.

Well, that's all for Sudoku today. I'll try one more time this morning.


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