Have you heard of this Sudoku? Seems to be exploding around here. It is actually a puzzle...a thinking puzzle if you will. My brother introduced this craze to my mom, and she's now hooked! Our local newspaper has, just this week, begun putting this puzzle into their entertainment area (you know the area, the one that contains crossword puzzles, cryptoquotes and the like).
While the puzzle looks easy, there are really three leves: easy, medium and hard. The object is to not repeat any of the same numbers in each horizontal row, each vertical row, or each 9 box section. Each number from 1 to 9 is used only once per row/box. To see an example and/or try your hand at this, please check out the following link. Once you see the puzzle, the rules will no doubt make sense, but just in case they have them written there as well. Another site that you might want to check out (though admittedly I only looked at it briefly) is here.
While you apparently don't need to be very intelligent in math to do this puzzle, thinking is of the essence. Our newspaper said that it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to solve. I haven't tried this myself just yet, but as I said my mom has. She loves it and gets my father or someone to print off a copy of a different puzzle everyday so she can solve it. I think the first link I provided may be the one she uses. She's gotten very good at solving the easy puzzles, and the medium ones are fast becoming easy for her. She has lately been working on the hard and very hard ones. She has also 'claimed' the one that will be now appearing daily in our newspaper as hers to do. No one can touch it...though I'm sure if someone attempted to solve it before she could get to it, she wouldn't harm him/her.
Idon't yet know how big this craze is, but apparently it has a huge following in Japan (where it originates I guess). Some day I may try my hand at Sudoku (maybe when I don't have so much school work to do and can spend time on it), but for now I will watch as everyone else grows agitated and frustrated, at their attempts to solve the puzzle, and hand out the Advil or Tylenol...