Today: Jul 17, 2024

Sudoku puzzles contestants

Chardoneé Wright, Staff Writer:
Sudoku flyers plastered on the walls and doors of Engleman Hall invited the campus community to turn their “thinking cap” on and compete in a game of Sudoku.
SCSU‘s mathematics club sponsored a Sudoku Contest where students had 15 minutes to complete three random puzzles for a chance to win a gift card.
Daniel Radil, president of the mathematics club, said he wanted to have an event that was creative and new.
“It was my idea,” said Radil. “We were trying to think of something we haven’t seen before. People have a phobia of math, and we wanted it to be fun.”
In the middle of Engleman’s rotunda, a table was set up to admit students for the game. The table was covered with a blue banner promoting the event, and was scattered with papers showing the rules and guidelines of the event.
According to the rules and guidelines sheet, contestants had to show an SCSU ID to enter. The participants paid a non-refundable fee of $1 and were allowed to participate up to four times.
Each contestant was given three random puzzles and had 15 minutes to complete as much as possible. The puzzle was time-stamped at the start and completion of the puzzle.
Neal Napolitano, math major, helped sign students up for the contest.
“It’s a dollar, and I sign them up, give them a pass, and send them to the conference room,” said Napolitano.
“So far we have eight people, but we have a few people who came by and said they will be coming back after class.”
The rules and guidelines sheet also stated that one point is earned for correctly completing a row, column, and a three-by-three square. Three points are earned for each fully and correctly completed puzzle.
Amy Boylan, senior math for secondary education major, participated in the contest and said a couple of years ago she learned how to play.
“I like Sudoku, and it sounded fun and was cheap,” said Boylan.
According to, a site that explains the origination of the game, “Su” means number in Japanese, and “Doku” refers to the single place on the puzzle board that each number can fit into.
The site also credits Wayne Gould, a retired Hong Kong judge from New Zealand for helping to get Sudoku
into newspapers. He generated a computer program that would produce the games, and convinced The Times Newspaper to start publishing the games in their paper.
The first game was published on Nov. 12, 2004 because of his efforts.
Prizes were awarded in the form of a gift card. The first prize was 40 percent of the collected entry fees, second prize was 25 percent of the collected entry fees, and third prize was 10 percent of the collected entry fees.
The hardest part of Sudoku for Boylan is “the game itself.”
Accuracy, concentration, and timeliness–all are denominators that Radil and Boylan said that can make Sudoku a challenge to complete.
“When you have multiple options for a box, you have to keep track,” said Boylan.
Radil said he plays Sudoku in his spare time, but it can become challenging.
“The problem is when there are fewer numbers, there is usually one key way inside the puzzle that would help, said Radil. “Finding that initial part is the hard part, but once you do, it’s like Dominoes.”

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