One of the things I enjoy doing if I have a few spare minutes are Sudoku puzzles.
I consider myself of average ability when it comes to solving such puzzles.
I can usually solve puzzles labeled as easy in less than 15 minutes, medium ones could take an hour, and even then I might not finish it, and hard ones I rarely attempt.
So I was caught off guard when I started trying to solve the puzzles shown above. These come from a book of Sudoku puzzles my wife gave me as a stocking stuffer for Christmas, and are offered in large print.
When I went to bed the other night, instead of reading, I thought I’d try an easy Sudoku. I figured it would take me no more than 15 minutes and the sense of accomplishment would put me in the right frame of mind for a good night’s sleep.
Well, 30 minutes into puzzle one, you can see how far I got. So I thought maybe they misclassified the puzzle as easy, so I moved to puzzle two. Again, after about 30 minutes of effort, you can see how far I got.
So much for trying to fall asleep on a timely basis.
When I have solved easy Sudoku puzzles before, they never required some trial and error, where you’ve narrowed a cell down to one of two choices. You try one of the numbers and see how far you can with that choice. Hopefully, it was the right choice and maybe you can keep going all of the way to the end. Or, you find out that first choice was wrong, hopefully fairly quickly, and you erase everything and go back and use the second choice, and go from there.
As far as I can tell, however, these two easy puzzles are not adhering to that guideline (which is an unofficial distinction I have made for easy puzzles). It appears that at this point in each puzzle, I need to do some trial and error.
I’m willing to do that, but I felt I was misled by the puzzle makers.
Or perhaps, it’s something worse.
Maybe it really is an easy puzzle that requires no trial and error, and I just can’t figure it out.
My concern is that I had counted on solving easy Sudoku puzzles as a significant part of my leisure time in retirement.
What am I supposed to do now?
Maybe there are Sudoku puzzles for six-year-olds (regular six-year-olds, not geniuses) that I can solve without too much effort.
But then there is the possibility that those puzzles for six-year-olds don’t come in large print.
It’s quite the dilemma.
Try and solve a challenging Sudoku that comes in large print, or try a really easy one that I have trouble seeing.
So much for a carefree retirement…
*image from Volume 169 Sudoku Large Print from CrownJewlz