My name is Perpetua and I am a Sudoku addict. It all started so innocently one winter’s evening up in the north of
. I had always resisted the temptation to try my hand at the puzzle which so enthralled some of my friends, but this evening I’d finished my book, we have no TV there, I just wasn’t in the mood to cast on that second sock and so I picked up a pencil and tried my hand at the ‘easy’ Sudoku in that day’s paper. Scotland
Let me say at the outset that I don’t have a puzzler’s temperament. I’m useless at crosswords, especially the cryptic kind, and have never had the patience to learn the puzzles which fill the odd corners of the average newspaper. I’ve always been a reader, or a knitter, and so I thought I could just dip my toe into the pool marked Sudoku and take it out again with no harm done.
Little did I know what would follow from that first careless attempt. To my satisfaction I did manage to finish that initial puzzle, but it was several days before I felt like trying another. But gradually the intervals between attempts grew shorter, until I realised that unless we changed our habits and began to buy a paper every day, I’d need to find another source of supply.
I know Sudoku can be played electronically – on the computer or on a little handheld screen, such as Grandson #1 enjoys using, but I’m a paper and pencil girl to my core. Then I discovered that you can buy books of Sudoku puzzles, some of which even include a dinky propelling pencil with a built-in eraser. That was the moment when the attraction became an addiction.
Now while waiting at the airport or the station or even at the dentist's, my bag contains not only my current paperback, but my Sudoku book and pencil. No longer do I groan when the plane, bus or train is delayed, because it gives me time to fit in just one more puzzle. In the mornings I’m as likely to do a puzzle with my morning cup of tea as open a book, since I’d have to put the book down sooner or later, whereas the puzzle will only take a few minutes.
I’m still an avid reader and a keen knitter, but I’m also hooked on the satisfaction I feel when I manage to solve a particularly fiendish puzzle, especially when I can do it with as few written notes as possible. I think of it as exercise for the brain, which, given my advancing years, is as important as exercise for the body, or at least that’s my excuse. Now where did I put that pencil?
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