Thursday, May 12, 2005

Drop and think me twenty!

What do you do to keep your brain in shape? In the old, post-Enlightenment days, it was enough to pay attention to current events and think hard about them. Today, current events are not guaranteed to make sense, and they therefore give the rational mind nothing to hold on to.

Crossword puzzles? I like them, but they're mostly exercises in tediously arcane trivia.

Chess? Fascinating, utterly rational, and for me totally humiliating.

Now, it's Su Doku to the rescue! There's no math involved, no vocabulary, no knowledge of popular culture -- just plenty of mental weightlifting. And there's only one rule to keep in mind: "You're stupid." Just joshing, kids, I'm all about the comedy.

All seriousness aside, Su Doku is nothing more than a logic problem, not too different from the kind you'll see in a book of pencil puzzles and word games, except it's been stripped of all the window dressing ("Mrs. Able, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Charlie brought three different items to the bakesale ...") leaving only the logic behind. It's a Rubik's cube for the physically clumsy.
The puzzle that ate the world?! It's called Su Doku. It came from Japan. It's deceptively simple, but a brief tutorial reveals hidden depths. It's spreading like gangbusters through the puzzle-obsessed British public, where it is making major news and being rapidly added to the country's newspapers. Fortunately, archived puzzles and free software are out there to provide puzzle addicts their latest fix. C'mon... give it a try. It's only *one* little puzzle. (Heh, heh.)
[Via MetaFilter]

Will this be enough to make thinking the latest popular fad? Are you crazy?


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