Monday, 3 September 2007

Confessions of a puzzle addict

I have to be honest. I have a secret vice. Something that draws me like a magnet. Something that I find it hard to do without.

Its that maddening and exhilarating puzzle - sudoku - 9 boxes of 9 squares - the numbers 1 to 9 found in each box and in each row - only one solution to the whole puzzle.

I have spent hours, literally hours, on getting the little boxes filled.

A true addict - I don't get my fix at 'low' levels - the dose has to keep getting higher - currently nothing less than medium will be touched by yours truly.

Before you start praying for deliverance let me state that I have more or less curbed most of my time-wasting on this particular vice.

But, here is what drives me and gives me pleasure in solving it.

You start knowing so little - but then you find a number that 'has to be there' - a small but absolute truth.

Then you use that truth to find out the next one.

It gets better.

Sometimes you know may not know that a number is in only one box - but that it is in a particular area of the puzzle - and you can use that knowledge to solve a different part of the puzzle - which may in turn lead you to solve the exact location of the first number.

Kind of like life in general.

How do we make sense of the many, many things that come our way?

So often it seems just a blank blur. But here and there we know, we know, that something has to be, totally and absolutely.

Treasure those truths - they are your anchors to move forward.


Sudoku is infectious in the Eicher household. As I write this, Asha is working on a 'very easy' puzzle from the Indian Express. She has only 12 squares left to fill. There would be no way that I could do that when I was 6 years old...

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