Cryptic

Sometimes their posts are interesting and sometimes not.

Simon does some very convoluted things. Many times I get so far and then stop, because I can see there would be no chance I could even start the puzzle. I am reasonable at sudoku, and do spot things these guys miss sometimes, but rarely. But often you wonder just what to get out of a solve. I know there are many cleverer people than me who will enjoy it, but it can get so obscure it’s not enjoyable and beyond a challenge.

Simon particularly, for all his skill, can get annoying with his swooning praise for the setters. “Oh, this is just beautiful” he says often. And he calls solving techniques “tricks” which implies to me a kind of cheat, which it isn’t. It’s his skill.

My biggest bugbear is that they ignore easy numbers in preference to pencil marks (indicating where a number could be rather than where it is). They miss obvious things, because they concentrate more on the pencil marks, in the corners and centres of cells. To me, a placed (big) number is much more powerful than any number of (small) pencil marks and they should have a higher priority. I know many people sit shouting at the screen seeing that a particular number goes in a cell because it’s obvious, even to me, while the presenters say they are stuck.

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