Are people put off by sudoku?

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Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby dinsky » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:00 pm

I know alot of people who love sudoku, but I'm looking into proving that a large percentage of people would actively avoid them. Any thoughts? Any links to useful data would be mucho appreciated!
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Re: Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby enxio27 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:44 pm

No hard and fast data, but my experience tells me that people stay away from sudoku for one of three reasons:

1. Their first puzzle was NOT a beginner puzzle, and they decided sudoku is too hard or complex.

2. They don't like math, and they think sudoku puzzles are all about math.

3. They don't like logic. Unfortunately, for the most part, logic is no longer taught (in the U.S., at least), so that leaves a lot of people "handicapped" when it comes to sudoku.

Now that the sudoku craze has pretty much worn off and the market is flooded with less-than-stellar, overpriced sudoku books, apps, etc., the only ones who are left are those of us who are die-hards.
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Re: Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby dyitto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:32 am

enxio27 wrote:No hard and fast data, but my experience tells me that people stay away from sudoku for one of three reasons:

1. Their first puzzle was NOT a beginner puzzle, and they decided sudoku is too hard or complex.

2. They don't like math, and they think sudoku puzzles are all about math.

3. They don't like logic. Unfortunately, for the most part, logic is no longer taught (in the U.S., at least), so that leaves a lot of people "handicapped" when it comes to sudoku.

Now that the sudoku craze has pretty much worn off and the market is flooded with less-than-stellar, overpriced sudoku books, apps, etc., the only ones who are left are those of us who are die-hards.


About 2. and 3. people might have a good alternative. How many people play chess on internet? Or there jobs or other regular activities provide sufficient challenges.
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Re: Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby enxio27 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:09 pm

dyitto wrote:people might have a good alternative. How many people play chess on internet? Or there jobs or other regular activities provide sufficient challenges.

That's quite possible, but I've never heard someone use those as reasons they don't do sudoku. I've never heard any one say, "I've tried sudoku, but I like chess (or whatever) better." Nor have I ever heard them say, "I've tried sudoku, but I get enough mental stimulation on my job, thank you." It's ALWAYS one of the three reasons I mentioned (mostly the first two).
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Re: Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby Smythe Dakota » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:01 pm

I discovered Sudoku when I first saw it several years ago in the Chicago Red-Eye, a free morning mini-paper published by the Chicago Tribune. It was a fascinating concept at first. Over the years, though, I have become a bit jaded, to the point where its main purpose for me is to pass the time on the train to work. For me, the puzzles have come to have a boring sameness to them. The Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday puzzles are too easy, the Thursday-Friday ones too tedious.

And yes, I recognize that true Sudoku fans consider all newspaper puzzles too easy, and go for the more difficult ones posted on these forums, or at least in the New York Times. I, however, have no interest in advanced solving techniques, with names like Flying Turtle Chicken Wings, Semi-Masked Non-Negotiable Triples, Jelly Fish Nets, etc. If a puzzle is hard enough to require such techniques, I lose interest in it long before I get that far.

I have moved on to Kakuro. It provides a much richer variety of solving techniques. I almost discover another new solving technique every time I work on another puzzle. Yet no one technique is all that difficult or tedious that it pushes me away. Decent Kakuro puzzles are available in major bookstores, right next to the Sudoku books. And, I have found three websites that feature Kakuro puzzles of just the right difficulty and interest. Those by Michael Mepham are the best.

Unfortunately, I have also discovered at least two websites with unacceptable Kakuro "puzzles" -- multiple solutions every time. The Internet is like a beautiful country meadow, loaded with mine fields that need to be avoided.

Unfortunately, Kakuro has not caught on well with the general public. Most daily newspapers don't have Kakuro at all. There are few, if any, Kakuro discussion forums. Even the Kakuro topic in this forum is largely inactive. It seems the entire world is like Chevy Chase imitating Gerald Ford in a presidential election debate: "Um, it was my understanding that there was to be no math .... "

I like new puzzle types -- but not those that require hours to solve or the invention of advanced new techniques. A new puzzle type should be interesting, not tedious. One example appeared on this discussion board a few years ago, something along the lines of: Each row, column, and box must contain two 2's, three 3's, four 4's, and nothing else. These kinds of ideas keep things fresh.

I have been thinking of a new puzzle type which sort of combines Sudoku with chess. If I ever come up with an actual puzzle, I'll probably call it Chess Sudoku if I post it here, or Sudoku Chess if I post it on the U.S. Chess forums.

Cheers,

Bill Smythe
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Re: Are people put off by sudoku?

Postby enxio27 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:03 pm

Smythe Dakota wrote:For me, the puzzles have come to have a boring sameness to them.

I can relate totally. I don't do newspaper puzzles (don't get a newspaper), but I've collected sudoku puzzles from a number of reputable sites such as sudocue.net, menneske.no, etc. I like these vanilla puzzles to help keep my brain active and sharp, and I use them for times when I have 5-10 minutes to kill.

I counteract the boredom factor with variants, both of the extra-groups type and of the multi-grid type. I like the longer puzzles for wait times at the doctor's office, children's activities, etc. I also use them to tire out my mind enough to go to sleep at night. I'm not keen on the math-based puzzles (other than basic comparisons such as odd-even and non-consecutive), but I might actually try a simple killer one of these days. I simply haven't been able to get interested in other puzzle types such as kakuro, hitori, etc.
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