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Book Review: Solving Sudoku Puzzles by Roger Fortney

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A young woman was passing the time before the start of an auction by doing sudoku puzzles. She was approached by an ancient crone who asked, “how can you figure them out? They are impossible.” The young woman replied, “They’re just logic puzzles; it’s all a matter of deduction.” With that, the crone wandered away, either satisfied with the answer or unfamiliar with logic and deduction. This is a true story. Only the age of the “young” woman has been changed to protect the ego.

Sudoku puzzles are not all that hard, at least the first ones in the beginning of a sudoku book. As the puzzler advances through intermediate sections into the expert arena, they can be real stumpers. There are wonderful, imaginatively written histories of the origins of sudoku, but in its present form it was developed in Japan by someone who had seen the puzzles in an American puzzle variety magazine. Six puzzles appeared on a page, and those who were truly addicted had a long wait between puzzles. When the Japanese launched it under a new name, it quickly became a mania, with sudoku magazines pushing logic and other puzzle magazines off the shelves.

Roger Fortney comes to the rescue of ancient crones and frustrated sudoku solvers everywhere with Solving Sudoku Puzzles, a thick volume that takes puzzlers (or more likely, the puzzled) through the intricacies of solving these brainteasers. For those addicted to the puzzles but unable to make it past intermediate, Fortney’s approach teaches the art of deduction using his no-fail techniques. Fortney also supplies large format worksheets that make the puzzles easier to solve because they are easier to see.

The size of Solving Sudoku Puzzles is daunting. Readers should be aware that it may appear to be a masters level textbook, but it is primarily comprised of puzzle samples and the keys to solving them. For those who are seriously frustrated, Solving Sudoku Puzzles may help them better understand the logic involved. There are even trouble-shooting hints.

At the end of the book is information about Roger Fortney, including some of his inventions. Bread bakers may already be familiar with “Perfect Slices,” a kitchen tool Fortney developed for the even slicing of home-baked bread. Isn’t it nice that Mr. Fortney has provided a way for us to enjoy our toast while solving our sudoku puzzles? Now, if he’d only invent something to keep over-your-shoulder kibitzers from suggesting answers, offering help no one wants.

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About Miss Bob Etier

  • http://www.lynnvoedisch.com Lynn Voedisch

    I have to give you credit for even tackling this book. I look at those things and my mind goes on vacation. My husband assures me that the numbers are meaningless. It’s really only a logic puzzle, not a math quiz, he says. Doesn’t matter. I see numbers and I quail. Give me a good old crossword puzzle any day.
    I assure you that this does not make me look good, but it’s how my mind works.

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/Bob+Etier Miss Bob Etier

    But, Lynn, it’s only logic…