I’m a bit of a sudoku addict. When the first wave of Sudoku addiction swept either the world or just New Zealand, my sister and I were right in the middle of it. Back in 2005 we both sat at our father’s bedside as he was dying of oesophageal cancer, and in the quiet moments kept our minds busy and blessedly distracted by doing Sudoku puzzles. These days, a sudoku puzzle is a daily feature of my life, a breakfast ritual, a challenge, and a blatant if desperate effort to ward off any dementia that might be coming my way.
But lately I have been frustrated. I usually complete the 5 minute quiz (rarely getting all the answers right, but usually averaging 8 out of 10), then attack the sudoku puzzle beneath it. But the usually challenging puzzle in my daily paper has been dumbed down. Now my brain hardly needs to get out of neutral to complete the puzzle. Sure, they have added two extra puzzles on the puzzle page, but the so-called Easy and Medium/Hard puzzles are still easy. They certainly aren’t hard. Is this just further evidence that evolution is reversing the development of the human brain? Or is it succumbing to the inevitable? And if so, what hope does it give me, when I still need my brain, and have fears (genetically based) that it might not be up to scratch in 20 years (give or take 10 years) or so? Can’t we maintain some standards, and keep my daily sudoku a challenge, instead of a pushover?
Perhaps I should be writing a Letter to the Editor. This will lead me to another post in due course, bemoaning the standards of the newspaper of our country’s capital.
PS. Dad would have been 84 today. He is still missed.