Erasable Games Weblog

(Sudoku in words and pictures)

Archive for January, 2008

Sudoku Songs

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I vacationed in Canada (Vancouver B.C.) this weekend. In lieu of the series of Sudoku variant cartoons and commentary this week, I decided to search the youtube.com archives for Sudoku Songs of various kinds. Here are the results with some commentary.

Let’s Sudoku!: Sudoku Song. This is performed as Alternative Music. I was amused that the puzzle is filled in each row from left to right. Very satiric.

Sudoku Song. This is rendered as a Folk Song. Click on the lower right hand corner x to undisplay the ads.

Sudoku Rap. This is edited to eliminate the most common Rap vocabulary, but not seamlessly.

I’m starting to dream in Sudoku by Mitch Benn. This is easy listening music and cute! The puzzle appears to be solved realistically.

Time Lapse Video. A 17 second Jazz version of a “now you see it, now you don’t” (mostly you don’t very well) Sudoku puzzle being solved. The video is a cliff-hanger.

Suicide by Sudoku. Perhaps the Beer had a role to play. After all, it was only of medium difficulty. This is uses guitar solo music.

Sudoku on Rubik’s Cube while you watch. Children annoying the young solver in his room. Non-descript music.

Newspaper Sudoku. A self-solving do-it-yourself kit version stimulated by Zorba the Greek Music.

Two Wonderful Sudoku Board Abstract Patterns are shown:
Green Medium #1 and Gray Easy #2. (Electronic Music).

Finally, to indicate that the human filter is still severely needed in search engine technology, here is In Contra Sudoku Live. A hard rock rendition having nothing to do with the puzzle except the name. The last intelligible word is the introduction to the piece. The performance is intrumental electric guitars and Drums with intermittent screeching.

Mayan Sudoku

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Mayan Sudoku

In only a few more years, by December, 21, 2012, that year’s Winter Solstice, the Mayan Calendar (Long Count) will be completed. See “The How And Why Of The Mayan End Date In 2012 A.D.” by John Major Jenkins. It has been keeping track for the last 5125.36 years, since August 11, 3114 B.C. From the accuracy of the Calendar, myths of the end of the world with the end of the calendar have emerged. So the next 5 years will be quite interesting.

The site Mayan Numbers is the reference for Mayan numbers and their names.

There is a Mayan to Arabic Number converter located in The Mayan Astronomy Page.

Some information about the history of Mayan numbers is given in Mayan Mathematics page

A general introduction to Mayan numerals is located in Mayan Numerals.

It is fascinating to “try on” the various (obscure) number systems and other representations of the digits 1-9 while playing a Sudoku that is not difficult but not easy either.

Repeat-Letter(s) Sudoku

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Repeat-Letter(s) Sudoku

A (Mensa!) Puzzle Book by Walter Mackay called Repeat-Letter Sudoku caught my eye this week.

This book offers puzzles where there is one (or more) doubled letter(s). In the Cartoon, there are two repeated letters: U and A. No matter. Just do the Sudoku Puzzle as usual and treat each of the pair as two different numbers.

It may help to write the same letters in unique ways: one in block letters and one in cursive or lower case. Alternatively, you can just keep count in every row, column, and block that duplicated letters show up exactly twice.

I like the effect of the no duplicates rule in the original sudoku being relaxed. It forces me to look anew at the puzzle and how it can be done, without prior built up procedural blinders. Interestingly enough, this particular variant appears studiously ignored by the rest of the internet.

I suppose if this carried far enough, it becomes simple to solve (e.g. All but one letter is duplicated 8 times). Don’t do too many of these; you may have to complain to your Eye Doctor that you’re seeing double!

Boggle Sudoku

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Boggle Sudoku

Safe shaking occurs when you envelop the board in loosely wrapped Plastic Wrap. Naturally, the idea is to have the displayed letters (in any orientation) occur in each row, column and block of 9 cells. The cartoon shows a failed attempt. As an added bonus, once you’ve come upon the solution, you can look for small words in the language of your choice occuring contiguously left (backward), or right (forward) or up or down or diagonally.

The game Boggle (TM) was invented by Allan Turoff and usually comes in a 4 x 4 grid. Larger Boggle games use a 5 x 5 grid. There is also a children’s version of Boggle as well as a travel version. See Wikipedia for details.

I’ve gotten some feedback during last week and I am happy to report that the Website for color sudoku puzzles, mentioned last February, 2007, which was called Brainfreeze Puzzles is no longer “frozen”. The site has been revamped; Philip Riley and Laura Taalman’s Color Sudoku book was published in mid-2007.

Look for the Published Puzzles link for free puzzle variations. There are also tutorials for the Sudoku variants. An original innovation is the Bold X variant, with 6 diagonals, 2 main diagonals and 4 “subprime” neighboring diagonals, which have non-repeating digits as well (just not all the numbers).

I’m glad the site is active again. It is a treasure trove of color and variants.

Another viewer simply named Maff, from the United Kingdom, observed that all of the variants that have been shown in this Blog are by and large based on a 9 x 9 Sudoku Grid. This of course is not an accident, since the subtext of the blog is to demonstrate the vast utility of Power (squared) Sudoku White Boards and clipboards, even if (or when) you tire of the original Sudoku puzzle and seek to recapture that old excitement via variations.

Maff has a site called Sudoku Evolution which has created and displays Sudoku variants where the board size is a variable. The site offers a monthly magazine, eBooks, including a free sample pdf file, in which you can modify the file to save or reset your solution entries, as well as print the original puzzle.

The rules for each variant are depicted as graphical animations in an easy and clear manner. Despite there being a few broken links in some of the larger sized 2-D and 3-D puzzles, I plan to spend some time on these kinds of variants. Thanks for letting me know about this site, Maff!