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Sudoku Genius: 144 of the Most Fiendish Puzzles Ever Devised Paperback – December 1, 2005


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Sudoku Genius: 144 of the Most Fiendish Puzzles Ever Devised + Beyond Black Belt Sudoku: If you have to ask, it's too hard for you. (Martial Arts Puzzles Series) + Absolutely Nasty Sudoku Level 4
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452287501
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Sheldon has degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics, and is working for a doctorate in Mathematical Biology, with a sideline in children's books. He lives in London with his wife and son. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

He gives real information and lessons as opposed to simple basics found most elsewhere.
Tom Gagnon
Great for the experienced sudoku solver who's looking for fun and challening puzzles, I highly recommend this book after trying several others that were inferior.
Jason Harland
Most Sudoku books have puzzles from easy to hard; this book contains all difficult puzzles, taking you through the nine "circles" of Sudoku Hell.
RoeDudster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By RoeDudster on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Most Sudoku books have puzzles from easy to hard; this book contains all difficult puzzles, taking you through the nine "circles" of Sudoku Hell. The levels are Daunting, Tortuous, Merciless, Harrowing, Horrific, Maddening, Murderous, Devastating, and Deadly.

The introduction contains a very brief explanation of the basic concepts and methods. Then, for the seasoned Sudoku addict, there are 15 pages of "expert methods" which includes new strategies that I hadn't seen before.

Each puzzle is about 4.5 X 4.5 inches, allowing plenty of room to write in the squares. The paper quality is good, allowing the maximum usage of your eraser without smudging and thick enough to let you erase over and over . . .

This is a great book for the person who has already mastered the easy to medium puzzles, and finds most of the hard puzzles too easy. If you want to learn new tips and experience a challenge, this is a great book!
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Format: Paperback
Tom Sheldon's second book of sudoku puzzles picks up where the introductory Big Sudoku Brain Workout leaves off, presenting 144 difficult puzzles graded in nine levels of difficulty, from Daunting to Deadly. Though these are described as "the most fiendish puzzles ever devised," they can all be solved (albeit on the second or third try, sometimes) by someone who has a basic knowledge of sudoku strategies and a good sense of logic.

I began at the beginning, and either there is not much difference between the puzzles from the beginning to the end or I learned some tricks as I went along, but I found myself spending about the same amount of time on the puzzles at the end as at the beginning. Some of this may be because I gained greater practice using some of the techniques Sheldon includes in his helpful Master Class in Advanced Strategies, in the introduction.

The author helpfully lists the thirty puzzles which require "trailing," his term for the technique that is sometimes necessary when groups of pairs block further progress in solving the puzzle. He makes a case for why this controversial technique (which involves choosing one of the numbers in a pair at random and following it throughout the puzzle) is still logical, not simply trial and error. He didn't convince me, but the puzzles could easily solved (especially when the first trial number was done on a Xerox copy). Several intriguing puzzles are completely missing one given number, but those turned out to be the most fun, and, as a rule not difficult. Some not listed as requiring trailing did require it, and three or four listed as requiring trailing did not. and one puzzle, done by both my husband and me, turned out to have two completely different and correct solutions!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jason Harland on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sudoku Genius is by far the most enjoyable sudoku puzzle book I have every completed. One aspect I like about this book is that it is challenging but it does not require you to use brain-bending techniques like X-wing and Swordfish which after reading numerous definitions of I still have not been able to comprehend.

What makes the puzzles in this book perfect is the means by which the puzzles must be solved:

Step 1 Inspection: fill in all the obvious numbers that are the only possibility for a particular cell.

Step 2: Fill in the possibilities: Writing in all the number possibilities for the remaining cells.

Step 3 Look for Patterns: reducing the number of possibilities per cell by looking for hidden subsets, row and column elimination, etc.

Step 4 Solving: getting possibilities down to 1 unique candidate in a cell per row, column, or square, and solving further from there.

Some of the more difficult puzzles in this book require repeating steps 3-4 after you've solved a good deal of the puzzle.

The only negative about this book is the author's insane love for what he calls "trailing". Trailing is basically getting to a point in a sudoku where the only way to solve the puzzle is to outright guess at some of the numbers. To me this is not what sudokus are all about! I get much more satisfaction out of solving a sudoku using logic (and not guesswork) from beginning to end. Fortunatly the author provides the page numbers for the puzzles requiring trailing and I simply skipped over all of those puzzles. Were it not for puzzles requiring trailing I'd give this book 5 stars instead of the 4 I rated it.

Great for the experienced sudoku solver who's looking for fun and challening puzzles, I highly recommend this book after trying several others that were inferior.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*****

These puzzles are hard! "Sudoku Genius" is comprised of 144 hard puzzles, progressing from "Daunting" to "Tortuous" to "Merciless", on to "Harrowing", "Horrific", "Maddening", "Murderous", "Devastating", and finally "Deadly". I am just in "Merciless", the third level, and am really enjoying the challenge. There are some explanations of technique, which the author calls a "master class in advanced strategies"; it wasn't extremely useful for me, as I had known about the techniques already, but it was a nice refresher.

There is only one puzzle per page, large grids, and altogether a great book for those who really want to be challenged. Obviously, this would be an impossible book for beginners, and highly frustrated for those who weren't ready for it. I bought it a year ago, and kept working from other books until I was ready.

The author says that some of the puzzles require "trailing", which means that you DO have to guess, as there is not an logically identifiable solution. I have a problem with this. Fortunately, he lets you know which puzzles do require trailing, and there are only 30 of them. For those, I do cheat and look, as I think sudoku puzzles should not involve trailing. So I work around this feature of the book easily, and it doesn't detract from my fun. If you enjoy guessing and working a puzzle until you find out you've guessed incorrectly, then erasing everything, you won't have to do a work-around! Again, this really doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the book at all, though.

Definitely recommended.

*****
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