I got this book as a gift for my 73rd birthday from my grandson. I love the codes format. I’m surprised this hasn’t been done before. I’ve seen coded puzzles in the past but not like this. I play puzzles every day to keep my brain sharp and I’ve really been enjoying these. Thank you Pat for the hours of fun I’ve been having.
Robin R. Williams
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I am a big fan of this book with the codes. I like the Sudoku but I really love the other code puzzles in the back of the book. I would like to see more puzzles like what appears in this book. I have enjoyed this book alot and I even bought a few for my friends. These puzzles are alot of fun to play!
I take it the other reviewers haven’t yet reached the “hard” puzzles, where the book starts to run into major malfunctions.
Fact: If a sudoku puzzle has more than one possible answer, it is NOT solvable.
That is because, eventually, you reach a point where logic will no longer help you proceed — you can no longer eliminate possibilities because all of your possibilities are equally valid.
And if a sudoku puzzle can be filled out any-which-way, it’s a broken puzzle.
This brings us to the problem with Pat Sajak’s book: Virtually all of the “hard” puzzles (and all of the double-sudoku puzzles I have tried so far) have multiple solutions, and hence, are not solvable. Eventually, one just runs into a wall, past which, the only way to proceed is to fill in whatever the heck you want, since it doesn’t much matter. Some of the puzzles only have a handful of squares that aren’t solvable. Others have a dozen or more. The latter are a royal pain, because it ISN’T immediately apparent that the puzzle is broken; one has to work through dozens of equally valid guesses, then check those against dozens of other guesses, before establishing that the whole thing is a house of cards. That takes time. My goal in writing this review is to save others that time.
I have, thus far, only encountered one “hard” puzzle that doesn’t run into this problem, and that one isn’t actually hard. It took about five minutes to solve, and I’m a methodical, slow-paced guy.
As for the code numbers … they’re kind of fun if you’re bored with the usual stuff. But they’re incredibly easy to figure out, even at the hard level. My impression is that they’re simply a gimmick — a way to make customers pleased with themselves, so that they will be pleased with the product. Cynical, I know. But I’ll stand by it. Since relatively few customers flip, like I do, to the hard puzzles immediately, most of them probably haven’t run into the snags yet, so they’re pleased as punch with how fast they’re mowing through the easy and moderate puzzles. I would like to reassure them that, when they get to the hard puzzles and get stumped, it probably isn’t them — it’s the book.
I would have liked to see a puzzle book like this in which the solutions had been troubleshot better. All of the new options are fun in concept, but when you have to spend an hour establishing that the puzzle is broken (rather than your brain), most of that fun evaporates pretty quickly.