Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If your days are numbered, try this
Times of India
[ Wednesday, January 25, 2006 09:31:50 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

After Su-doku, puzzle lovers have Godoku to grapple with. Su-doku made addicts out of just about everybody - students, housewives and corporate bigwigs. Now, Godoku or Wordoku is on its way. But people who've been juggling numbers ever since Su-doku made its gentle entry into their lives are not sure if its word version will catch their fancy. Su-doku got a big push when newspapers throughout the world started carrying puzzles in their daily editions. Su-doku books climbed to the top of most best-seller lists of 2005. Now some publications in the west have started publishing Godoku. One terms it 'devilish'. To play Godoku or Wordoku, you apply the same logic as in Su-doku.

But instead of the nine numbers, there are nine letters from the alphabet. After the puzzle is cracked, you get a hidden word. Another version is Rudoku, where what's revealed is a rude word! In Bangalore, though words puzzles have their share of fans, Godoku hasn't yet caught on. Says Radhika Mahalingaiah, teacher and avid scrabble and Su-doku player, "There hasn't been much awareness about the word version of Su-doku. I've seen them but they somehow didn't look too exciting. I didn't know about the hidden word; that would make it more interesting." Sanjoy Gupta, advertising and marketing professional, who calls himself a word lover, adds, "I don't think Godoku will attract people like me, who are otherwise into word puzzles

It hasn't got anything to do with words; the letters are just place holders like the numbers in a Su-doku game. Even the word that emerges in the end is secondary in nature, that's not the primary driver for cracking the puzzle. I guess people with a fear of numbers will take to it." Radhika, who works out 4-5 Su-doku games in a day, says puzzles like these are great for people who like brain-teasers. "I noticed in the Times Su-doku championship that many participants were well-educated housewives. A brain-teaser provides them the mental stimulation they require, and a break from daily chores and boring TV,"she remarks.

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