## Saturday, May 23, 2015

### After many years, the Sudoku numbers finally aligned

 May 22 2015! Victory at Sudoku!
Do you ever play Sudoku, a numbers game that tests your ability to complete a 9 square by 9 square puzzle with numbers (obviously) from 1 to 9 horizontally (rows) and vertically (columns) within nine different 3 squares by 3 squares squares? There are 81 overall squares and 9 3x3 squares within the 9 x 9 square. Lots of squares. That explanation may confuse you even if you are a Sudoku player.

Not sure when the game came first came to my attention. It may have been on an airplane in the back of the airline magazine found in the chair back in front of you. You forgot to bring your favorite weekly magazine, usually Sports Illustrated, or the daily newspaper which in my case is usually The News & Observer if the beginning of the trip is from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, or USA Today if departing from some other city headed to RDU (FAA code for Raleigh-Durham International Airport). Maybe you have work to do but you’re not motivated to get out the laptop or a pad and pencil, so you reach for that magazine which tries to lure you to take more trips on the same airline to interesting destinations.

You thumb past the articles, lists of the top psychiatrists or steak houses in American, or a map of the destinations your airline flies and the layout of all the terminals eventually landing (pun intended) on the pages with crossword and Sudoku puzzles. If it’s any day other than the first of the month when the new monthly issues arrive, there's no chance to complete the puzzles because everyone before you has already attempted and failed to do so. Lots of partially completed puzzles.

My favorite Sudoku supply is in the back of The Week, a weekly news digest magazine, that’s been arriving at our home for the last three years or so as a subscription given to us by someone who must want us to be frustrated trying to complete the crossword puzzle and Sudoku as well as coming up with some funny answer for the weekly contest which asks for funny answers to funny questions, maybe. If McDonalds wanted to rename a signature item using pretentious foodie terms, what would they call it?” Second place that week was Gluten Freedom Fries.

So, for the last three or more years, the Sudoku has been second on my list of features in The Week. (First is the two page spread of “Best properties on the market” which are multi-million dollar homes in specific categories such as “Homes in college town.” Interesting, that spread didn’t include homes in Chapel Hill NC. And there is usually a deal included such as a 100 year old Colonial Revival in a town you would never think of move to.) And, until the May 22 issue, the Sudoku has never been completed at my house. It took me a couple of nights of bedtime effort. When completed correctly, a burden was lifted, leading me to say, “Of all the Sudoku attempted, that was one of them.”
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Dictionary.com word of the day
apothegm (noun) [ap-uh-them] a short, pithy, instructive saying