I hate to admit it, but I hate numbers. Ever since I started going to school, I despised any activity that has something to do with it. That goes on without saying that I hate math. As a graduate of a course related to electronics engineering (and just last year, as a computer engineer) I had to bear with the fact that I can’t escape the reality that I have to face and deal with problems involving calculations and computations on a regular basis. Thankfully, I didn’t fail any of those “numbers-related” subjects (That doesn’t include my previous Mechanical Engineering course which was spent learning BMX freestyles in- stead. Come to think of it, it deals with some Physics anyhow). But I didn’t excel in it either. So until now I’m still amused every time I remember a classmate mentioning that he’s been peeking at my Calculus test papers for “clues” and was able to pass the exams because of it. How I pulled it off, I don’t know.
By the start of this year, my wife bought this weird puzzle booklet from the supermarket and upon seeing that it was about matching several numbers, I avoided it right away. Had it been a crossword puzzle, I would have been her rival in an instant.
Since that time, I would regularly see her with this booklet and a pencil. I would wonder every now and then if what makes her attracted to play Sudoku puzzles and if it is really worth the time. It went on even during our trip to Malaysia. She also convinced her brother and he got hooked just like her or even worse.
A couple of weeks after we arrived from that vacation (which was a wonderful one, despite the Sudoku distractions), I eagerly asked for the weird puzzle and tried my hands and brain on it. Just like a car’s engine left idle for a long time, my brain’s number sector hesitated for a couple of minutes before engaging on the problem at hand – i.e., solve the puzzle rated as one-shuriken. In Sudoku speak, it is the easiest. Time went by and after several mind-boggling hours, and after our floor (and bed sheet) collected mounds of eraser shavings, I realized that I was hooked on this numbers game. I timed my puzzle-solving and clocked 5 minutes or less on some one-shuriken problems. My wife said she has done better. I don’t care. She’s not my competition. My rival is myself. I have likewise solved two- to four-shuriken problems. For how long? Don’t ask. What matters most is that I solved it anyway.
Last night we bought our third booklet. It is rated intermediate. The first page starts with four-shuriken problems and I peeked at the last ones, most of it has diagonal-odd puzzles. In plain words, It can make one crazy. Hehe- hehe. Hahahahahaha. Huhuhuhu. Am I drooling yet?