this is an example of one of my finished puzzles - how I work. also very special birthday edition WITH #8 as POI and sidekicks 5 and 7 in attendance.

“ Destination” sounds too  final,  so  I’ve cheated and added a subtitle.

what I’ve come up with so far


Sudoku is  a perfect occupation for anyone who likes to organize things;  who takes particular pleasure in having all their ducks in a row, or perhaps in  having everything in its proper place and “tidy” (currently a very hot buzz word- I just had to have it here).   This makes it a given for a librarian or an accountant;  Computer geeks would be a shoe in  if they weren’t so busy playing with their computers.

It offers the rare opportunity to be in complete control.  There are no arguments; it’s just you and the puzzle in harmony and hopefully in agreement.  It offers complete autonomy, not normally socially acceptable but eminently satisfying,  and who’s to know.

You’ve got complete FREEDOM OF CHOICE;  therefore the satisfaction and gratification of personal affirmation.

it has been strongly recommended as therapy to be used to counteract the effects of senility.   Exercising one’s brain in the form of logic is as essential and worthwhile as exercising one’s body. It serves as mental and emotional therapy.  It’s a good distraction to take one’s mind off of a significant amount of negativity,  as well as providing   much needed and appreciated “space” and personal time..

A really big plus is that very little physical effort is involved; and for this reason it can be  enjoyed by the sedentary(me),  particularly those who are sedentary not necessarily by choice but by necessity.

It frequently serves as good practice in “multi- tasking”. 

It serves as a Beneficial Reprieve from information overload and undesirable demands on our time, both  so very present in our frequently overcommitted contemporary lives.

Minimal tools are required;  all that is needed are pencil and paper.  It is a solitary pursuit so there is no need to find other players and there’s no waiting your turn – it’s always your turn.  Particularly  refreshing;  there is less stress, no competition, no or few controversies and at invitation only.  Games to play are available all year, every day 24/7, regardless of the weather.

It’s extraordinarily LOW MAIINTENANCE; easy setup, no messy clean up.  

And best: you are ALWAYS THE WINNER, no arguments.

Aside from all that, it’s a darned good game. 

Quite recently  I had a rather fun experience.  A rather light mystery book I was reading included  a Sudoku to play-– now how can I resist this;  I copied it out and set to, into the complete unknown- a very rare occurrence indeed.   I had no idea how it might be rated, and its design was so unlike any I’d seen – there was no symmetry for one.  That experience was quite satisfying – being brave without actually sacrificing anything, a cheap high, no less. ( NB: trying new designers is one of my suggestions for the future).


I am very fussy about the kind and style of puzzle I prefer:  I experience an emotional attachment to the process of solution;  this is not purely a mechanical process for me.  My first puzzle was supplied by The Washington Post,   but it no longer satisfies my needs; the presentation is fine now that the size has been corrected,  but  I don’t like the design, neither the layout or the  arrangement of the numbers,  and  I feel it is inconsistent in rating. I also dislike working on newsprint; any necessary  pencil marking is hard to see.  I do the puzzles hardcopy printed from on line sites;  I prefer pure white slick computer paper for ease in visibility,  and  I prefer to work  in pen.

An unusual affinity for the game is offered to me most probably due to the fact that I’m an artist.   it’s not only my  affinity for numbers as I described earlier, but I also love the feeling I experience as I etch in a conclusion.   I get special pleasure out of installing the numbers  in their proper places on the grid;  the way the numbers fall, perhaps seem to click in to place sometimes, so slick, so satisfying, but also the tactile sensation experienced as pen meets , which may be a particular sensual pleasure.  Some numbers are squeaky, others are silky smooth…. And here we have the lesson learned:  numbers are not created equal; some are more enjoyable than others.

One sitting – one try - is all I’m interested in; and one hour maybe two, is also about my limit.  I find that after that,  or if it becomes too much of a struggle, I begin to lose my patience.  No:  I get hungry, or I feel “I have to get on with my life.”

 I very rarely go back to an unfinished game.  So, let’s face it, I really am not overly serious about attaining the stated objective, ie like winning.  I have no problem stopping cold turkey right in the middle if any of the above occurs.

I must make a horrifying confession …I do not look at this as a competitive sport;  I’m in it  strictly  for laughs. I don’t look at it as a challenge; if things get too messy or too technical, I quit.  Tearing my hair out just won’t hack it:  I go do something else. There’s always another one.

Let’s call it what it is:  My ideal game; a challenge which is short and sweet, with minimal agony.

I’m more interested in the suspense and the  possibility of there being a  hidden delightful surprise.  There’s such a thing as being too serious.

And finally and eventually, it is one of my very favorite fun things to do, as well as my fall back; where once for escape I went to martinis and cigarettes, I now go to Sudoku;  undeniably far less detrimental to my health.

I am also  more than just addicted, and I pray this continues to be the case for as long as possible. (being a fad it’s very hard to predict its lasting power, but one can only hope).

I have so enjoyed my years of association with this game, it has provided me with many happy hours and surprising encounters, so many fun experiences, adventure and excitement, and It is this that has  GIVEN ME A TERRIFIC SUBECT TO WRITE ABOUT.

 Working on this has been a lot of hard work but also so enjoyable.   It’s offered me so many opportunities to learn;  thinking and researching, and all the details that involves.  I’ve had to work out the details creative writing entails like composition, spelling, and punctuation – there’s more to that than I ever expected and you can add to that lots of computer shenanigans and complications I probably never would have encountered otherwise.

A Good Sudoku is a continuing satisfaction. I suppose I shall always feel inclined to have that ongoing dialogue and memo taking urge. NEW DISCOVERIES ARE AWAITING EVERY DAY. And how else can you experience THE THRILL OF DISCOVERY before breakfast?

There are a few things I’d like to take on in the future, one of them being to try out other designs, other renditions or versions; there are a lot of them around.   There is always  the continuing promise of new and better approaches, new and better methods, and at the very least there will  always be the JOY involved in attempting to work out secrets, break the code, dream up  new analogies, and sort it all out.

  There is still new stuff making an appearance; new discoveries are always just one game away,  for instance;  two surprising  recent revelations:     the number 8 is good luck in some cultures – what a change in perception that is, and the 5 and 7 are BOTH MALE. Of course they are – how did I miss that?     


I have created a fairly reasonable description of my unusual perception of the game of Sudoku, a very good sampling of the myriad possibilities hidden in this quite ordinary game of numbers

I’ve given you the jumpstart, now it’s up to you to create your own numerical world,  the charades available lurking behind this simple façade. You can decipher, follow the actions, read the tales the numbers tell by yourself;   this is  an offering to come up with your own vision, return to your own memories. You are only restricted by your imagination: only the sky is the limit.

.  There is absolutely no reason to think of it as nothing but a way of spending some casual time or as an ordinary quick mind teaser. The numbers are just sitting there aching, itching for you to recognize how very much fun they have to offer to you, if you would just permit them.

I have also given a pretty good idea of what my mind does while I’m supposed to be solving the puzzle; I go on a flight of fancy, a tour of the mind and beyond – so entertaining and often enlightening, much more so than just moving numbers.

Over time you might feel you were being greeted by old friends when you start a game as they do me. This is such a friendly way to start the day.

Forging an up close and personal rapport and relationship, can be a big asset; and over time they may well  all seem like old friends; this can satisfy any need for companionship for the day if you tend to be a hermit like me. An additional advantage is that it is the ideal way to acquire the highly desirable  ease in visibility  and familiarity.

  Follow my example and become friends with those numbers – they have a lot to tell you.  It’ll open up a whole new world of adventure for you.