News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2006


Crossword an antidote for Sudoku

Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce President John Seymour once made a hole-in-one at one of those mid-week golf tournaments that are businessmen's excuse to skip work.

Keeping things in perspective, John announced that he'd much rather be lucky than good. His golf game, he said, doesn't include many fantastic shots.

I thought about John's comment last week when, after months of trying, I successfully completed one of the daily Sudoku puzzles in the newspaper.

"Lucky," I said, as I sat in the den at home about 7 a.m. one day last week while filling in the last easy squares with numbers.

The next day my mind changed.

Good, was how I was by then assessing my skills after finishing another challenge. Two wins in a row!

By golly, diligence paid off; I finally cracked the code!

I've just about abandoned the daily crossword puzzle in favor of what's supposed to be the hottest game around.

In case you've missed it, it's on the same comic page with the crossword Monday through Saturday. The puzzle has nine squares that subdivide into 81 smaller ones.

The rules are simple: The puzzlemaker spots you certain numbers in the nine sub squares. Your challenge is to fill in the others with numbers from one to nine without duplicating any.

The trick is to fill each line and column that intersect within the nine grids inside the larger square. In other words, no line or column can contain two of the same number.

Starting with Monday, the puzzles get progressively more difficult as the week goes on. So by Wednesday, I was back to the luck John trumpeted.

I'm not good, but I'll keep trying. In the meanwhile, I've found time for my old love, the daily crossword that my mother introduced me to years ago.

Working crossword puzzles on a regular basis is supposed to be one of the ways to stave off Alzheimer's disease. Sudoku might help too, but right now it's driving me nuts.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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