Friday, November 02, 2007

Sudoku, The Puzzle Sensation That's Sweeping the Nation

Hi. My name's Danita and I'm a Sudoku junkie.

It started out innocent enough. I tried one of the number puzzles here, another there. I couldn't solve a single one. I hated all nine of those blasted little 3 X 3 squares. I wadded up each newspaper in turn and threw it across the room in disgust. No solved puzzle, therefore no problem.

I think you can guess where this story is headed.

That's right, just last week, I solved one. The whole thing. Without looking at the cheat sheet. All 81 of those glorious little squares contained a number, in the right magical order.

And now, well, you already know the rest of my story -- I can't get enough. My husband had to buy me two Sudoku books because the one-a-day newspaper puzzles were no longer enough to satisfy my cravings.

I started wasting precious writing time, quit cleaning my house, I even refused to take time out to eat. Okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth a bit, and yeah, yeah, that last one is an out-and-out bald-face lie, but you get my point:

Sudoku might be sweeping the nation, but it's not lifting a finger to sweep my floors. And it's not helping me get my writing done either.

So, do you Sudoko, or do you have another favorite time waster?

What do you think, do we need to start a twelve-step online program just for writers? Ha!


Alice Sharpe said...

Okay. My comment for tonight is that if you aren't a writer, neither am I.

Danita Cahill said...

Okay, okay. You win, Alice. I'm a writer.

Did I mention I'm also a Sudoku adict. Ha!

Paty Jager said...

I don't like anything with numbers so you won't find me getting addicted to Sudoku! I don't even play spider solitaire any more! I'm either writing, editing, blogging, or checking e-mails. I seem to be on the computer all the time!

In fact my dh was just a little disgruntled last night. We were replacing the railing on the loft that we'd taken off to work on the new room and he had to get a new hacksaw blade. So he went to the shop for a new blade and I hopped on the computer. He came back and was sawing away and I didn't even acknowledge (engrossed in the project I was working on) he was there until he growled, "I could use some help here." Eeeps! I jumped out of my chair and helped him finish putting up the railing. He went to take a shower and I jumped back on the computer to finish the project I was working on.

I am a computer/writing addict. Is there any help for me??

Danita Cahill said...

I'm also mathmatically challenged, Paty, so that's what I thought too. Beware of the Sudoku pitfall though. Like the cover of my books cheerfully say, "No math skills required."

If you want help to lure your butt out of the computer chair, just pick up a couple of the number puzzles. Ha!

That's all it takes. Just one drink. One snort. Or in this case, just one solved puzzle.

Alice Sharpe said...

I've tried Sudoku. I suck at it. Good news, I gave up computer Solitaire. Bad news, I've discovered a couple of other computer games that keep me mesmerized. I intersperse them with writing some days and I don't. I know everyone warns about having them on your writing computer but I say life is short (and I am lucky not to have motivation issues plus I do have a knee-jerk fear of missing a deadline -- that helps.)

I do work the crossword puzzle every day, sometimes at night. I'm okay at it. I do not want another time, so I refuse to even consider picking up a pencil and going after the Sudoku puzzle. So there.

Karen Duvall said...

My mom used to love crossword puzzles and I'd send her several books every year on her birthday and then for Christmas. I have a partially filled one of her books on my nightstand now that I just keep there because it reminds me of her. She was really good at them, too! I like to leaf through it to see the ones she completed. And she always wrote down the date she did them so I know just what she was doing on that day. That's very comforting somehow.

I don't get Sodoku. Makes absolutely no sense to me. I just now googled it to try to play one of the puzzles, and I had no clue what to do.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I was addicted to playing Othello with myself while the kids took their naps.

Paty, I'm on the computer all the time, too. I've got two of them and I jump back and forth between them all day long. I even have the laptop handy while watching tv on the couch so that I'll have something to do during commercials. Good self-editing time. I watch movies on it, download tv shows to watch, critique, write, surf, read and write email and blogs... I've become way too dependent on the damn things. Sigh.

Piper Lee said...

I've tried Sudoku and found that it has absobloominlutely NO appeal to my brain whatsoever. Like Paty said, I, too, don't like anything with numbers! Ick!

As far as favorite time wasters...

I love to read, but maybe that's not a time waster.

I love to watch that stupid "The Bachelor" show. I watch it on Friday nights if DH and I don't go out. In fact, if we don't go out I watch "The Bachelor", "Pushing Daisies", "Men In Trees", and sometimes I'll even watch "Home Makeover". So much for not having television. HA! But, I only do this on Friday nights. So that's gotta count for somethin'.

Another time waster or "addiction" perhaps, would be reading blogs and emailing.

Like so many of you, I'm addicted to the computer and that's why my rear-end is so much bigger than it's ever been. UGH!

Fun post!

Barbara said...

I got a Sudoku book a couple of Christmases ago and felt obliged to at least try it. Pretty soon I was caught, too, Danita. I find them great for travel and waiting rooms. For a long time I did one a day for brain exercise. I bought about six books and have completed at least two of them. Then the craving to do them died out. I haven't done one now since my trip back east to visit family in May. Maybe it's a self-limiting addiction. Anyway, now I have an addiction to blog reading--the more time I save by putting my blogs on feeds, the more blogs I subscribe to. My comments on blogs are pretty much the only writing I'm doing these days. Could this be a self-limiting addiction, too? Time will tell...

Danita Cahill said...

Alice, I never have been good at crosswords, which makes no sense, really, since I am a word person by nature, not a number cruncher.

I never did get hooked on any computer games, thank goodness, and TV I can take or leave. But reading, rewriting my own work and now this dang Sudoko takes up pretty much all my spare time.

Danita Cahill said...

Oh, and Alice, congrats on beating the solitaire habit. Way to go. I know sometimes it's tough. Just take it one day at a time. Hee hee.

Danita Cahill said...

Karen, you don't know Sudoku (why I always capitalize it, I'm not sure. Should I be?) and I don't know Othello.

That's sweet about your mom's crossword puzzle book. I have a Christmas ornament that my mom painted hanging near my desk. It has a little baby cartoon cardinal sliding in the snow. Very cute and reminds me so much of Mom and makes me smile everytime I look at it.

I don't spend that much time on my computer, usually. There's no internet on my laptop, which is mostly what I use to write on. Keeps me focused that way. But during commercials, I Sudoku like crazy!

Danita Cahill said...

Piper, so fun to bump into you today in town.

I don't think reading is a time waster at all, so that doesn't count. But do you watch all those shows on the internet? I thought you didn't have TV. I love Men in Trees and try not to miss it.

Danita Cahill said...

I can see where blogs could get addicting. I don't spend much time on this computer, like I mentioned earlier, but I could easily get hooked on blogging. I'm fighting that drug. Ha!

Hopefully my enthusiasm for Sudoku will run dry too. Although I agree, it's probably good exercise for the brain. And the opposite side of the hemisphere as writing too, I would think.

My grandma does the crossword in the paper everyday. She is 86, still lives on her own, still drives, and most days is pretty sharp. I think the crosswords, plus all the reading she does definitely help.

Piper Lee said...

Danita-- It was sooo fun to see you and your two wonderful kids today! I'm so glad you stopped to say, "hey"! You're little tummy is looking just adorable too. :)

Yes, I do watch those shows on the internet. There's a thingy you can go to on and watch the shows after they've aired on TV. So, I watch them in a row on Friday's if I don't go out with the DH. It's a good way to relax my brain. (Not that it needs any more relaxing than it gets. LOL)

Genene said...

Nope, I don't do Sudoko (sheesh! I can't even spell it without rekeying several times!). My oldest son does, though. But he's a math whiz, so I think they are pretty easy for him.

The only time waster I can think of at the moment is jumping up from a project to stop my younger dogs from wrestling in the house because I haven't yet taken the time to train them properly.

I'm sure there are other time wasters, but I prefer to call them "relaxation and refueling breaks."

Fun post, Danita!

wavybrains said...

blogs. I am addicted to blogs, and even 24/7 nursing hasn't quelled the urge to keep up with my favorites (even though it has all but eliminated my ability to comment and to read daily)

I consider reading a basic life function up there with eating and not an addiction.

Lately my new addiction is Home and Garden TV programs. I'm hoping this fades as my ability to turn pages increases.

Alice Sharpe said...

Wavy -- Your comment brought back memories. Just be glad there are home and garden programs to watch during those endless nursing sessions! I started watching a soap opera during that time with my oldest child. And like Danita's puzzles and a drunk's first drink, one thing led to another and I found myself staying tune for the one after that. It was really easy to see how it happened as the baby took longer one day and I had no such thing as a remote, so I was stuck in the chair and lo and behold the next soap started and it started with a suicide. IT STARTED WITH A SUICIDE. Now mind you, I understand that loyal followers had no doubt been watching and waiting for months if not years for this blasted suicide, but there I was, a virgin to the show, and watching for the first time right when something finally happened! I was hooked.

I stopped cold turkey one day. I was taking a shower and my mind was running through the usual hodgepodge. "I wonder if mom and dad are coming this weekend." "Jan acted funny yesterday -- did I say something wrong when we went shopping?" "How is Erica ever going to get out of this mess---" and that's when it hit me. I was thinking of Erica and cast as friends and family.

I never watched again.

(And I gather Erica is still in trouble! Thank God I didn't wait around....)

Good to know you're doing well! Hugs to Olivia.

Danita Cahill said...

Mmmm... relaxationa nd refueling breaks, huh Genene? I like that? Mind if I adopt it as my own? ha!

Danita Cahill said...

Wavy, she must be a "snacker".

I read while I was nursing. Mostly magazines -- they'd stay flat without two hands.

Danita Cahill said...

It's funny what our brains find satisfying, isn't it Alice? Some folks watch endless game shows, talk shows or soaps, others shoot up with heroin, others slash themselves on the arms and legs with razor blades, to feel something, anything, but the emptiness inside.

Thank goodness it hasn't come to that for any of us. I think our therapy here is over. We took it one day at a time, and we did it.

I proclaim us HEALED!!!

Now I'm going to shut off this computer and go solve a Sudoku. hA!

Barrie said...

My dh is a sudoku fan. I think I personally might be getting a little too involved with my ipod. I need to nip this in the bud and transfer my addiction to my computer and my current WIP!!!

Danita Cahill said...

So nice to have you pop in at our blog.

Your DH has my condolences on the Sudoku addiction. And good luck to you with that ipod nipping!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

No Sudoku here either. I have one, but I've never opened the book.

Spider solitaire's a time suck for me. I have it on my Palm and I play it more than I should.

Danita Cahill said...

Never played spider solitaire. Sounds like I better not start either....ha!