Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday: Sudoku

As expressed on previous Whimsical Wednesdays, I’m a huge fan of puzzles and games – many of which I first embraced as a child. Together, my mom and I assembled jigsaw puzzles, played silly games like Pass the Pigs, shared riddles, even passed our on-the-road time with auto bingo. To this day, we both share a passion for word games – from Jumble to acrostics to crosswords. But admittedly, she’s mystified by my love for number-based logic games like Sudoku – the ever-present diversion in newspapers across the country. What Mom finds tedious and time-wasting, however, I find curious and challenging.

The way it works is fairly simple. Each game is composed of nine grids, each of which contains nine spaces, where the numerals 1-9 must be placed in a precise order, so that each grid, each horizontal line, and each vertical line include all nine digits (with no repeats and no missing numerals). What makes it simple or tricky depends on how many numerals (and their positions) with which the game begins.

It probably sounds a little boring, but I find it soothing – so much so that Dan even bought me an electronic version a few years ago: The New York Times’ Touch Sudoku from Excalibur Electronics, Inc. Filled with nearly a thousand different combinations, this handy little gadget has followed me around the country for three years now, and I’m only on Game #253. So, it seems that I’ll be playing Sudoku on quiet, rainy afternoons for many years to come.

So, what are your favorite pastimes? Not active ones, but the kind that challenge the mind and soothe the spirit?

19 comments:

Donna Hole said...

Numbers and me do not get along. Unless their the word search special where there's strings of numbers instead.

I love Word Press cryptograms and quotfalls. Not to good at the logic problems, but most of the rest are fun.

Reading is still my favorite pasttime however.

.............dhole

Bane of Anubis said...

Stratego - Best. Game. Ever.

Tabitha Bird said...

yoga, boxing oh wait, they are active ones... um... reading poetry is up there and wordfinds. I really like wordfinds for some strange reason.

Laura Martone said...

Donna - Reading is, for sure, my FAVORITE rainy-day pastime, but I love cryptograms, quotefalls, and logic problems, too. Mmm, especially logic problems.

Bane - I can't believe I'm saying this, but... I've never played Stratego. Ever. Oops, is my girliness showing?

Tabitha - Oh, I love yoga! Wow, boxing, really? Cool. I'm not surprised, however, that you're a fan of poetry. Wink, wink.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I love puzzles and riddles, although I haven't given Sudoku a fair shot yet. Words win out over numbers for me. When it comes to board games I'm still lovin' Trivial Pursuit. :)

Bane of Anubis said...

Laura, definitely a boy's game. (one that probably cause the fairer sex to collectively roll their eyes :)

Laura Martone said...

Morning, Deb! Happy Thanksgiving!

For me, puzzles and riddles win out over Sudoku, but I still find numbers fun. And, yes, Trivial Pursuit is awesome, though I haven't found anyone to play with in a while. The brown and pink slices were always my best categories. Probably still would be.

Laura Martone said...

No, no, Bane. I would've happily played a strategic game like that when I was a kid, tomboy that I was. But, as an only child, with a mom who liked girlier board games, my choices were limited. It was CLUE, CANDYLAND, and PARCHEESI over RISK and BATTLESHIP, but man, how I wanted to sink someone's battleship someday. But I never got the chance. Sniff, sniff.

Becky said...

Oh, you could have played Stratego or Battleship with either of my boys! My dad was also a Sudoku addict. Some of the few items I kept of his were an eleconic Sudoku game, and a few of his many completed Sudoku paperback books. They have lots of his handwriting in them.

Quilting is among my favorite pastimes... It combines tons of math, spacial reasoning, color, fabric, and the end product is something incredibly useful and beautiful....

Off to start cooking for TG. Happy TG to you and your family!

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Laura. (I favour the brown and green pies :)

Are you saying that you didn't have the chance to play Risk and Battleship?!

Our current board game faves are "Settlers of Catan" and "Carcassonne". Absolute good fun!!

Becky said...

We're playing Monopoly right now....Nick's absolute favorite! (My LEAST favorite...). Also watching Peanuts' TG special... LOVE it!

Laura Martone said...

Becky - Darn it all. I would've loved playing Stratego with your sons. Why ever did you have to move?!

Your dad was a Sudoku fan, too? Another connection! BTW, I can understand keeping things with his handwriting. That's why I don't delete all my voicemail messages from my folks, morbid as that may sound. I know they won't be with me forever.

I've always wanted to try quilting - for now, I just have to live vicariously through some of the characters in my novel.

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Becky!

P.S. That's hilarious about Monopoly. I can't stand that game either - a fact that I make quite clear in my book. ;-)

Laura Martone said...

Deb - Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too (even if you don't celebrate it). As for Trivial Pursuit, I wish we were close enough... I'd totally play with you. Green's for science and nature, right?

And, no, I never got to play Risk and Battleship as a kid (or an adult). Sad, huh?

As for your current games, I've never heard of either of them. Shows you how "current" I am. Oh, well, maybe I can visit you in Canada someday, and you can teach me. :-)

Christine H said...

Scrabble. And building ridiculously complicated dollhouses.

Becky said...

Not morbid at all. Both my mom and I used to call my dad's old cell phone months after he passed away just so we could hear his voice message.

Now you have another reason to visit Oregon... to play Battleship!!!!

Our Monolpoly game got extended overnight (ugh!). I'm being summoned (reluctantly) to join in the fun once again. Oh the things you do for your kids... Scrabble is my favorite too.

Becky said...

Whew hew! Just went bankrupt to my youngest son! I'm FREE!

Laura Martone said...

Oh, Christine, I love Scrabble - Upwords, too... That's right - I forgot that you're into dollhouses (like the object monologue you wrote for Jen's contest). I've always wanted to try dollhouse building, but I never have the space. LEGO houses are the closest I've ever gotten. So, good for you!

Becky, as if I needed another reason to visit you in Oregon. :-) Ooh, I hate two-day Monopoly games... all that greed gone amuck (how appropriate that you're playing on Black Friday). I, too, root for going bankrupt, just so the game will end. LOL!

Becky said...

LOL! Play money is all we can afford this black Friday.....

Laura Martone said...

No kidding, Becky. No kidding. :-)