ok, you got me. i have a confession to make.
it’s a deep, dark secret that shames me to admit.
but there is certain satisfaction from the freedom a confession gives you.
i am addicted to sudoku.
Sudoku (数独 sūdoku?, すうどく) i/suːˈdoʊkuː/soo-doh-koo is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids that compose the grid (also called “boxes”, “blocks”, “regions”, or “sub-squares”) contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which typically has a unique solution.
so whenever i have some down time, when i do not feel like reading (which is my favorite pastime, by the way), and when i feel the need to flex some mind muscle, i open up the sudoku app on my ipod and click, click, click away.
it amuses me that you can persist at a task, completing the grid, by focusing your attention. there is always one right answer. and the satisfaction of a perfect grid is like… well, perfection.
daddy, my wife would say, be a good example to your boys. the reason they are addicted to gadgets is because you are!
guilty, i silently admit.
one time, i saw my boy sitting hunched over his study table. he was obviously not studying, because his bag was way across the room. he had a pencil in his hand, and was furiously scribbling and erasing on a small book.
drawing, i thought. but his book was too small. so i continued to watch him.
after a few minutes he said, dad i’m done.
he showed me a sudoku book. he had done 3 puzzles. i compared his answers to the back of the book. the first two were perfect. i saw a difference in the third puzzle, and assumed he did something wrong.
i called his attention, and he said, oops! sorry!
then he got his book back and scribbled some more. when he returned a minute later, there was still a variation on his answers.
so i double-checked his answers by doing the puzzle myself.
lo and behold, his answers were correct. i used to think that there would only be one answer to a particular sudoku puzzle, but i was wrong.
sometimes there are two correct ways to do it. and if there are two ways, i imagine there could sometimes be a third as well.
i’m tired dad, he said. can i go outside and play?
go ahead, i said. i’m proud of you for figuring these puzzles out.
inside, i was also humbled realizing that just like Life, when you think you have things figured out, sometimes there is not just one correct answer.
i need more sudoku.