Advanced methods and approaches for solving Sudoku puzzles

Postby QBasicMac » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:32 pm

LOL – Assumptions will kill me every time!

Jeff it right: I have a bad memory and almost went through this same exercise before. Oh, well, maybe this is enough to stick!

I lived in Switzerland for 7 years and was often surprised by cultural assumptions. I should have learned.

I once was cold in my office, so I went to a local hardware store to buy an electric oil-heater. No problem: It was nicely boxed and I returned to my office only to find there was no cord to connect to the mains! "What the? Did he expect that I only wanted it for decoration?" It turned out that the Swiss are conservation-minded and ASSUME that one already has a connector, for example for the electric iron or hair dryer. Since the fuses will not support both an iron and a space heater at the same time, surely you do not want to pay for an additional connector. Just use the one from the iron!

Well, I bought the cord, but was miffed at the time (and retold the story to my American friends in great humor and irony until I learned how Swiss people think).

In another incident, I went to get some milk in a small village and was surprised that they ASSUMED that I already had a container. They didn't have any so I had to go home and get a container to fill with milk. I was annoyed at the need for the extra trip (which was by foot on a cold day) but at least understood I was fooled again. I ASSUMED they would have milk in containers.

Well, I'm sorry to say that I forgot these lessons in this forum and responded unkindly to a response I got that was, in my mind, too cryptic. I now see it is the assumption in this forum that people only want vague jargon-laden hints for answers.

And just as it would have presumptuous to try to convince the Swiss that they should imagine someone needs all the stuff required, not just some, so it was presumptuous of me to try to convince regulars here that they should presume the questioner wants an exact, simple answer.

Instead, I should have merely noted to myself the fact that the culture here has the vague-hint mentality and resolved to ask for explicit help the next time I need it.

Even worse, assumptions being so fully invisible, I didn't even recognize the problem as being of that nature and instead concluded that everyone has the same viewpoint as me, but for reasons of personality defects were intentionally being unhelpful. That is almost like assuming the Swiss hardware dealer knew I needed the attachment cord, but liked to embarrass and annoy foreigners and so purposely failed to remind me that I might need one.

I hope I have learned a lesson here: It is more likely that others and I are subconsciously making contrary assumptions than it is likely the others are intentionally trying to be obnoxious.

As a result, I eat crow here. Sorry for my bad response which resulted in waste of forum space. I accept that you will continue to assume as before and I resolve once again to post proper questions in the future and be more grateful that anyone bothers to respond.

By the way, I just modified my own SuDoku Scratch Pad ( to sense when the user (I am the only one I am aware of) is making no progress and thus to provide an automatic hint.

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Postby stuartn » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:36 pm

As I said earlier Mac...... good man. Stay with us.

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Postby Jeff » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:00 pm

You are a reasonable American after all.:D
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Postby 9X9 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:55 pm

Mac - many thanks for your gracious words. Yes, 9X9 is a homage to (and why don't we all refer to it from now on as) the Fellowship of The Grid.
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Postby Pappocom » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:07 pm

I've only just read this topic, so I had a lot of catching up to do. But, in the end, I think we all did ourselves proud - including Mac (when one considers his last post).

These forums don't have an official policy on the subject, but I always hope that contributors will give hints rather than outright answers. We are attracted to this site because we are puzzlers, after all. Surely we don't mind being puzzled - for a while, at least?

If anybody wants or needs an actual answer, they could request that answers be sent in a PM.

I will take the liberty now of closing this topic. I think the subject had just about worked itself out, anyway. Thanks to all.

- Wayne
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