Pablissimo has posted a Sudoku app over on the spoke which he's called SharpDoku. It lets you transpose an existing Sudoku puzzle (say from The Times) onto the game grid and you can then try and solve the puzzle as normal. Nice features are the "pencil marks" (allowing you to record which numbers could go in a particular cell) and "illegal moves" (which points out when you breach the rules). That last one is very handy because it takes a fair bit of checking and double checking normally to ensure your solution is correct (and one mistake early on has a sort of cascade effect....) What would be really nice would be a mobile version of this app so I could play on my Smartphone...

I did play Sudoku once or twice a long time back before it became the phenomenon it is now. In an idle moment over the weekend I picked up the Samurai Sudoku in the Saturday Times (basically 5 Sudoku puzzles joined in a sort of X formation) and joked with my girlfriend that I was going to do it. She suggested the easy one might be more up my street. I scoffed but chose to go with her suggestion just to prove how quickly I could do it. 10 minutes later I found myself in the embarrassing position of (a) making very little progress and (b) getting increasingly frustrated.

Fortunately said girlfriend had taken zero interest in my attempts up to this point so at least she wasn't gloating :-). I didn't remember it being this difficult. It was then that I realised that not only do columns and rows have to have the numbers 1-9 but 3x3 squares do as well. Try doing the easy Sudoku without the benefit of that 3x3 square knowledge and I think you'll agree it becomes very hard indeed. I do worry about myself sometimes though - senility seems to be setting in very early...