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December 13, 2005

### Solving Sunday's Sudoku

Many Globe readers have applauded the addition of Sudoku, the numbers puzzle that has quickly developed a loyal following, to the Globe's Sunday magazine. But last Sunday's edition appeared to have a mistake that left lots puzzle lovers scratching their heads.

The Globe ran a correction in today's paper:

For the record

Being one of the world's most mathematically challenged persons, I don't even attempt to solve Sudoku. But several readers contacted me and managed to solve the puzzle anyway or even with alternate solutions.

Tom Stambaugh of Brookline originally sent this note on Sunday:
Mr. Chacon,

This is completely trivial, I'm simply reporting a misprint in the new Sunday Sudoku (I'm sure many others have reported the same thing). I couldn't think of who else to send it to, so the "ombudsman" seems about right. I also wanted to comment on your new blog.

First, regarding today's Sudoku (Sunday, Dec 11, 2005). I'm pretty sure it's missing a digit, in row 8 column 9. According to the published solution, the missing digit should have been a "3". I think it's missing because a)Sudoku's are supposed to be symmetrical and the missing digit breaks the symmetry and b)Sudoku's are supposed to have only one solution and today's has two.

In addition to the published solution (with a "3" in the missing position), here is another solution originating from the same digits given in today's puzzle:

8 6 5 || 3 9 4 || 7 1 2
3 2 9 || 1 7 6 || 4 5 8
1 7 4 || 2 8 5 || 3 6 9
=============
2 3 1 || 7 5 8 || 6 9 4
6 9 8 || 4 1 3 || 2 7 5
4 5 7 || 9 6 2 || 1 8 3
=============
7 4 6 || 5 3 9 || 8 2 1
5 8 2 || 6 4 1 || 9 3 7
9 1 3 || 8 2 7 || 5 4 6

You'll note that this second solution has a "7" in the missing position. There may be others with an "8" or "9" in the missing position -- I didn't work them out. I know this is a trivial issue in comparison to the news of the day, but for those of us who start our day with Sudoku, it's a little disconcerting.

Meanwhile, regarding the new blog -- in my opinion, not having a submission link makes it barely a blog. I understand that you may want to moderate the blog, but it needs a "submit new entry" button. Perhaps I just missed it, though. I have deep concern about the future of the Globe, and I think a functioning blog will prove vital to its success. My view is that (the Globe is) seriously mistaken about who the actual and potential subscribers of the Globe are, and how to best target them. In my view, the Globe has far too many religious pieces on the front page (please -- NO MORE pictures of athletes in prayer), far too much fluff on the front page and in the front section, and not nearly enough hard-nosed serious pieces about all that's going on. In my view, the Washington Post is a fine example of a standard to emulate and today's Globe suffers by comparison.

Until I get a better feel for this blogging venture, I think it's best - for readers and the Globe - that the ombudsman's office continue to moderate this forum. However, we may provide links on this page to Boston.com message boards, where people can post their feedback in real time. But we're still open to suggestions, and you can send them to us.

POSTED BY: rchacon | TIME: 03:05:19 PM | Link