Thursday, April 27, 2006

Personally, I Think It's Really Japanese for "The Devil"

Tuesday evening I got the latest issue of TV Guide in the mail. After I was done skimming the articles and marking up my schedule for the week, I tossed it down on the coffee table, only to have the back cover flap open and reveal something I hadn't noticed before: a Sudoku puzzle.

Now, up until that point in time, I had been able to steer clear of that insidious tool of time-suckage whose name is supposedly short for the Japanese phrase meaning "the digits must remain single," although the thing most assured to remain single is whoever gets drawn into this game, because it will absorb their every waking thought. Or, at least it will if they're borderline ODC, like myself.

Like I said, up until now I've been able to easily resist the temptation to try out the devil game, but this time I was snared by an evil trick: the TV Guide puzzle uses letters instead of numbers. In addition, one line of the completed puzzle will spell out the name of some TV related person, place, or thing. The allure of the word-game aspect piqued my interest and the rest, as they say is history . . . along with sleep and any free time I might have had.

I'm pretty sure it won't be too long before I burn myself out, or at least, I hope so; I'm afraid the game doesn't exactly bring out the best in me. Which is the oddest thing about this sort of thing: it’s not exactly like I get a whole lot of enjoyment out of it. Instead, the puzzles speak to the competitive part of my nature, the part that knows it can shave just a few more seconds off my solving time if I just do one more puzzle . . . and then one more . . . and one more after that . . . and another one after that . . . and a brief break to stop myself from punching through the computer monitor . . . and then another one . . .

So, if you're walking down the streets of Denton and you see a filthy, unkempt figure, crouching on the sidewalk, rocking back and forth and mumbling curses directed towards the sheet of paper in his hands, be sure to stop and say "hi": I'm sure I'll appreciate the company.

5 comments:

Magic Pants said...

"the puzzles speak to the competitive part of my nature..."

Imaging having such a reaction to EVERY puzzle you see? crosswords, anagrams, these wonderful little things called quotefalls, the list goes on. *sigh* What is an overly competitve perfectionist to do?

Cap'n Neurotic said...

I've never heard of quotefalls before; a brief Google shows me that it's probably a good thing.

The puzzle I used to enjoy doing back in college was the cryptogram; crosswords and ctryptograms got me through several really boring classes back in the day.

Cap'n Cluck said...

www.websudoku.com

It is the best site ever! I play one everyday! I have mastered the "Eeeeeeevil" version.

I love those variety puzzle books. They are great because there are not only word puzzles, but math puzzles, too. And the math is what I gravitate to. Can't imagine why!

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!

Da Squatch said...

One of my students showed me a sudoku a couple of weeks ago. I'm hooked. I do two or three a day now. Chris and I even have races. I usually win-w00t--but I never tell her about the 6 or 7 kids at school who whipped my butt a few days ago.

Redneck Diva said...

Mom and I keep the Tater supplied with Sudoku puzzle books because it makes her happy and we like a happy Tater, but the icing on the cake was when Mom bought her an electronic, hand-held one. (Complete with extra stylus, what a bargain.) It's a Palm Pilot for nerds. (Btw, I lump myself into the "nerd" category, I just have a real Palm Pilot, lol.) Now the woman accomplishes nothing at her house and DHS and the EPA have been alerted.

Personally, just saying the word Sudoku makes my brain hurt. If you remember correctly I hate numbers. Numbers are evil. Puzzles are evil, as well. So really it's no wonder I have never even had the desire to attempt one.