Xmas Quadoku

Posted by Dan on Dec 17th, 2008
2008
Dec 17

XmasQuadoku

 

A new puzzle from the makers of Sudoku Ball.  There are 16 symbols, and 6 4-by-4 blocks arranged on a sphere, although it might as well be a cube.  The sudoku rules apply: symbols are used once and once in each block, row or column.  The catch here is that the rows and columns extend around the sphere.

 

In a 16-by-16 sudoku, there are 16 4-by-4 blocks.  Each block interacts with the other 3 blocks horizontally, and the other three blocks vertically, for a total of 6 blocks.  In the Quadoku, each block interacts with all 5 other blocks, but it interacts with the block on the other side of the sphere twice, once with the rows and once with the columns.  So, in a way, each block is involved in 6 block-to-block interactions, just as in the 16-by-16 sudoku.  The difference is that every block interacts with every other block, while in a 16-by-16 sudoku, each block has 9 other blocks that it doesn’t interact with at all. 

 

6 blocks times 16 cells is 96 cells, compared to 81 cells in a 9-by-9 sudoku and 256 cells in a 16-by-16 sudoku.  With fewer cells and more interconnections, I’d expect it to be a more interesting puzzle than a 16-by-16 sudoku.

 

In a flat sudoku, I can see everything at once.  I can follow rows and columns with my eyes.  With the Quadoku, I can only see one block at a time and have to manipulate the controls to see the others.  The opposite block is always either flipped vertically (top and bottom) or flipped horizontally (left and right) from the way I last saw it, depending on whether I’m navigating North and South, or navigating East and West.  This is a problem, because I have only so many brain cells left, and I want to use them solving the logic problem.  I don’t want to waste them on hand-eye coordination to manipulate the controls.

 

I suppose it gets easier with practice.  The more I remember about the contents of the unseen blocks, the less I have to turn the sphere around.  Two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional puzzles are awkward.  What I’d really like to see is an actual object that I can hold in my hands while I solve the puzzle.