I was infatuated with sudoku for a little while, but then I got bored with it: I was at a stage where puzzles were either too easy or required random searches, neither of which I enjoyed.

But I’ve started doing them again, and I would like to recommend the brainbashers sudoku web site. For one thing, their web interface is quite good, at least in my limited experience. Its default setting catches really stupid mistakes where you enter a number that’s duplicated elsewhere; those are 95 percent of the mistakes I make, and I’m quite happy to have a computer catch them for me as soon as I enter them instead of waiting until I’m almost done with the puzzle to realize that, at some point in the distant past, I screwed up. Also, it lets you enter a list of possible choices for a square, which is essential for hard puzzles. The only complaint I have is that it requires you to use the mouse, but I can deal with that – there’s enough thinking going on that I’m not clicking too much.

The other nice thing is that their hard setting is just the right level for me: I can always do the puzzles through pure logic, but I never feel insulted by them, and almost never bored, while some of them are quite tricky indeed. I have gotten better since the first time I gave up on the genre, incidentally – there were solution techniques other than random searches that I hadn’t mastered.

I’m still not sure how long I’ll keep on doing them – some of the puzzles are starting to feel a bit repetitive to me again. But I’m enjoying them for now.

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