Just this evening, I finished a Sudoku puzzle on my phone using the Sudoku Premium appat the “evil” level, which is actually quite hard. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing Sudoku puzzles more frequently , both in paper and on my iPhone app. Initially, I gravitated towards “medium” levels, but have progressed to more and more difficultly as my focus has improved and I’ve refined a few logic tricks.

At the harder levels, I’ve noticed something: I seem to have more success if I complete a single Sudoku in one sitting, or within an hour or so. There have been a few puzzles that I started during a short coffee break at the office, but when I come back to finish, I just can’t make anything work. It seems that over the course of a day, my mind forgets all the little logic tricks that I’ve been using to deduce where the next number goes. More likely, it’s not simply forgetfulness; I have to work back up to the necessary level of concentration and focus in order to keep making progress after the puzzle has been sitting awhile.

On my iPhone, it’s worse to come back to an unfinished puzzle - not just because I’ve lost “focus”; I think my brain gets distracted by all those hints that the software allows me to enter. When I pull up the app at the end of the day, it’s even more difficult for my brain to read past all the extra information and get “in the zone”.

So for now, Sudoku has been relinquished to something that I’ll do when I have the time to finish a puzzle. Also, I think I’ll stop using the “write-in” hints and allow my mind to stretch a bit.