“Headquarters for his puzzle empire”

Will Shortz, puzzle millionaire, on how Sudoku is kicking crosswords’ ass:

What precisely is the allure? Shortz argues that Sudoku has a secret psychological hook. While solving them, you tend to get bogged down midway—then suddenly break through, fill in the last bunch of empty boxes in a row, bang bang bang. “It gives you a satisfying feeling to be rushing at those squares,” Shortz says. “And immediately you want to do another one. That’s the key to why they are so addictive.”

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5 Responses to ““Headquarters for his puzzle empire””

  1. Liz Says:

    Am I the only person in the world who is not hooked on Sudoku? I’ve done a couple, but generally I get bored, or I make a mistake and can’t be bothered with all the backtracking that entails. Give me a good crossword any day.

  2. chance Says:

    No, I’ve never done them and I think they look dull. Well, not quite as dull as just filling them in with random numbers.

  3. Niall Says:

    It does seem to be the case that once you get to a certain level of geekiness there’s a sharp dropoff in how interesting Sudoku seems. I have seen several people writing computer programmes to solve the generalised version, so that they never have to bother with another one by hand …

  4. Talvalin Says:

    I may be rubbish at crosswords (I can’t do cryptic ones for example) but I find them far more interesting. Put that down to a general obsession with words over numbers.

    I have seen several people writing computer programmes to solve the generalised version, so that they never have to bother with another one by hand

    A friend of mine did this. What’s the point?

  5. Niall Says:

    Cryptic crosswords have always seemed to me less interesting than the regular kind, in that they rely on a bunch of rules; they’re learnable. Regular crosswords just use everyday wordpower.

    What’s the point?

    Because it’s there, I assume.


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