Why do sudoku books insist on including the answers?

Books about Sudoku

Why do sudoku books insist on including the answers?

Postby richardm » Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:02 pm

I really don't understand why sudoku books waste half there space by including answers. In all examples I have looked at, none of the answers provided yields any insight into the solving of the puzzle. So why are publishers wasting all this paper and ink?

Does anyone find the answers at all useful? If you solve the puzzle then there's no point in checking the answer. If you can;t solve the puzzle, the completed grid tells you nothing about what you didn't understand.

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Postby udosuk » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:22 pm

Well, I guess some people like the enjoyment of checking their worked-out solution grid against the official one and find that they're exactly identical... It's like in school we enjoy the satisfaction of getting 100 marks in our Maths exam... It's probably more of a geeky thing that not everyone understands...:)
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Postby richardm » Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:27 am

You don't think it's a cynical attempt by the publisher to get the public to pay twice what they ought and for the publisher to pay the author half of what's due?

As for checking maths answers, depending on the question there may be some doubt as to whether the correct answer had been given. For sudoku there can be no doubt. Once the grid is complete according to the rules - that's it, there can be no ambiguity.
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Postby udosuk » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:05 am

If you ask what I think, I'd say it's an utterly total waste of money for anyone who buys (printed) Sudoku books, when there are billions of good puzzles of all variants available on the Internet, totally free of charge... (Not to mentioned the numerous free programs who can generate a new puzzle in a couple millisecond...) And how many trees are axed down for the paper used to compile these books?

I can never complain about those publishers because frankly I never buy any book from them and in case I become a puzzle creator I'll never ask them to publish books for me... Instead I'll run a website...:)
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Postby richardm » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:32 pm

I'd tend to agree with you except for the fact that I mostly do sudokus on long haul flights (which I do a relatively frequently) and I find it more convenient ot have a paper version of the puzzle to hand. Thought that raises another question: what are the best hand-held electronic sudoku games?

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Postby udosuk » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:11 am

IMHO it's still a rip-off buying those handheld things... (I'm sure Luna will disagree...:) ) For printed version you can print them out using a printer (and using draft quality while packing a bunch of them in a single page to save both ink and paper)... Or if you're loaded like me you can buy a Laptop or a PDA/fancy cell-phone and hopefully acquire some good enough solver programs/mobile applications to play those puzzle on plane-trips or train-trips...

There are even good sudoku game softs for generic handheld game consoles such as PSP or Nintendo DS Lite... At least you can play many different games with them, not just Sudoku (that would be very boring IMHO)...
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Re: Why do sudoku books insist on including the answers?

Postby kifotv » Sat May 07, 2011 7:02 am

Since most books have puzzles that are relatively easy, I think including the answers is pretty much useless, but only if the puzzles are relatively easy. I have a few books which I am glad contain the answers, and I always print the answers with puzzles I generate on my own. I think once I get to the point where I'm spending a few hours on a puzzle, or using chain/loop/ALS techniques, it's kind of easy to make a mistake with just pencil marks to go on, so I usually check any cell I solve against the answer, just to make sure that I'm not making a stupid mistake (not guessing, just when getting into longer chains, its easy to forget the premise it started with), and to make sure that after spending 3 more hours on the puzzle, I don't suddenly realize that I have a 0 candidate cell.

Oh, and in one of my favorite sudoku books (sudoku addicts workbook), under each puzzle is a short paragraph talking about the path(s) and technique(s) you can plan on finding, and in the solutions, a vague-ish hint is given for 1-2 techniques, usually in the form of highlighting the cells the pattern occurs in, and (sometimes) naming the technique. It's pretty much useless about halfway through, when you have a lot more choice in your approach and solution path, but its better than nothing...
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Re: Why do sudoku books insist on including the answers?

Postby Smythe Dakota » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:14 pm

In general I agree with the uselessness (and waste of space) of answers. I've never looked at a newspaper's answer to yesterday's puzzle, whether I solved the puzzle or not.

However, I have one Kakuro book, otherwise excellent except that one of the puzzles has a dual solution. I was surprised that this would happen in such an otherwise fine collection, so I looked up the answer to make sure I hadn't goofed somewhere else in the puzzle. The printed answer agreed with one of my two, and my two differed in only four cells, so I regarded this as confirmation that I had discovered an error.

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