Sudoku #57 - January Web Stats

Category: Sudoku
Sat, 11 Feb 2006, 17:50

I just looked at my web stats for last month. My web site served up a total of 27,206 PDF files. At a hundred puzzles per PDF, that's a grand total of 2,720,600 puzzles printed out during the month!

By a large margin, the most popular group of Sudoku puzzles on this site are the Nonomino Puzzles. With over 3500 visits during January, it's actually the 5th most visited page on boldts.net!

The second most popular group of puzzles are the Advanced Puzzles, followed close behind by the Beginner Puzzles. The Standard Puzzles and Hard Puzzles are lower down in popularity.

When I first started creating Sudoku puzzles, I wanted to offer puzzles that were more challenging than the usual fare printed in the local newspapers. Looking at the January stats, I think there's a real demand for the more difficult puzzles. Sometimes it's nice to relax and zip through a bunch of easy puzzles, but that can get tiring. On the other hand, a difficult puzzle can keep you occupied for much longer. And when you complete it, you feel like you've really accomplished something.

If you want puzzles that are excruciatingly difficult, try out the Diagonal Puzzles which I posted just a few days ago. In these puzzles, you have two extra groups to deal with. In addition to the nine rows, nine columns and nine 3x3 squares, you also have to place the digits from 1 to 9 in the two diagonals. No big deal? Think again. These puzzles all have just 16 seed values, and the ones I've tried so far have been killers. I didn't tell my program to produce puzzles of a particular difficulty, but the vast majority of them require the use of the advanced solving techniques.

Anyways, over the next few days, watch for yet another batch of 20,000 puzzles. I haven't tried many of them myself yet, so it's too early to tell how difficult they are. I'd like to see how far I can go in producing really challenging Sudoku puzzles. But to go further, I think I now need either a better puzzle generation algorithm or a faster computer.

Hans

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