Boxes Of Numbers

Yesterday, Phillip sent me a photo of a Sudoku puzzle he was working on in his Kobo Mini. He was on his third attempt (after starting over twice) and he needed my help. Phillip is good at solving Sudoku puzzles, and I’m a little better, but the Sudoku puzzles that come with our Kobo Minis are tough – even on the “easy” level. I figured out the solution to the lower right 9-number box and sent it to him.

Phillip and I rode the 49 bus to the U District together this morning. Right after we got our seats, Phillip opened his Kobo Mini, erased his fourth attempt to solve that puzzle, and together we worked on the fifth attempt.

We were making great progress together, until, just before the University Bridge, Phillip asked, “OK, so where does the 4 go in this box?” I saw what he was seeing: We’d messed up somewhere. We were stuck. I couldn’t figure out where we’d gone wrong.

Phillip said, “I’m beginning to wonder is this puzzle is unsolvable – like it’s a bug, or something.”

I was wondering that, too.

When I got to my desk, I found an online Sudoku solver – just to test the “unsolvable” theory. I found that I’d deleted the photo Phillip had originally sent me. So I emailed the link to the online solver to him.

Phillip emailed me back: The puzzle was solvable. He sent me another photo of the puzzle.

So, Phillip started on his sixth attempt. I was supposed to work on it separately, but I didn’t get to it.

This evening, Phillip brought home the mostly finished puzzle, and together, we finally solved this “easy” puzzle.

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