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The Sudoku Addict's Workbook: 150 Brand-New Puzzles With Gridlock-Busting Tips and Techniques (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 2008


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Book by Stephens Paul


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12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A path to Sudoku enlightenment for advanced learners! 3 octobre 2008
Par Paul Weiss - Publié sur Amazon.com
What an absolutely marvelous idea for Sudoku addicts like myself! Paul Stephens, the author of this marvelous little puzzle compilation, explained the idea beautifully in his foreword:

" ... it can sometimes be hard to find the right puzzle for your skill level, or to give you practice in a particular solving technique. I've aimed to address that problem with this book. It contains 150 puzzles, hand-picked for the techniques needed to solve them. Each puzzle has a description giving you a guide to the major techniques required, along with tips on where to look within the puzzle and what to expect next."

The puzzles are graded from moderate to fiendish (and trust me here, fellow puzzle solvers, "fiendish" in this book means EXACTLY what it says!) and take you through the simplest gridlock busting techniques to the most complex. Each technique (with a few variations) is briefly explained in the opening pages but it takes solving the actual puzzles to switch on that "aha" light bulb, to come to understand how the technique is applied in a full puzzle and to see how it fits into the context of a developing solution.

Stephens covers an enormous range of puzzle solving techniques including:

Crosshatching
Single candidate squares
Single square candidates
Virtual crosshatching
Naked pairs, triples and quads
Row, column and box claims
Remote pair chains
Non-unique rectangles
Bivalue Universal Grave
X-wings, Swordfish and Jellyfish
XY-wings
XYZ-wings
Conjugate Pair Chains
Multi-colouring
XY-chains
Forcing chains and loops
Nishio
Nice Loops

Even the easiest puzzles in the book (which were, in fact, somewhat lower than the solving ability I had already achieved) were made more challenging and more pleasurable in the doing because Stephens put in three solving time estimates - one for "genius", one for "expert" and one for "improving solvers". I got the greatest kick out of trying high speed solving to see if I could achieve the "genius" time estimate. In the earliest puzzles, I could come very close to the "genius" time and invariably beat the "expert" time. But it didn't take long for Stephens to feed me a dose of humility. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I was feeling more than adequately challenged and felt that I was improving my skills with every puzzle that I looked at.

This is NOT for beginners nor could it by any stretch be considered a "Sudoku for Dummies" but if you're already a competent solver looking for challenges and a way to stretch your puzzle solving abilities with more esoteric techniques, then look no further than this delightful book. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
First class exercises for intermediate/advanced sudoku addict, but not a workbook for those hoping to improve strategies. 22 décembre 2008
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
Paul Stephens's collection of one hundred fifty new puzzles will keep sudoku addicts going for a long time. Even the easiest ones at the beginning offer some significant challenges, if not with the puzzles themselves but with the time limitations he provides for "improver," "expert," and "genius." The puzzles are unusually well devised, and they are printed on top quality paper, so that if you, like me, may have to do a particularly challenging puzzle three times before you finally figure out all the tricks, you can erase and then re-do, without any problems. Erasing is clean, without any residue left on the eraser, and the puzzle is so "new"-looking that I defy anyone to realize that this is a re-do.

I've been a sudoku addict for about three years, doing at least one puzzle a day, and I was hoping that this book would provide me with some the techniques that the really great puzzle solvers use to work on a solution when they hit gridlock, but I was disappointed, not with the puzzles, but with the author's unusually arcane descriptions of the sudoku strategies which most of us do automatically. Spending time trying to translate what I have been doing automatically, into the author's pre-established vocabulary is annoying, when the need to do this is based on the author's unusual labeling and not on the technique itself.

I finally decided to just do the puzzles, the way I normally do. I've learned a lot about the math and strategy from doing the successive Tom Sheldon series (which I strongly recommend, regardless of level of expertise), and knowing the complex names that Stephens applies to the usual sudoku strategies is not important to me. In fact, I find most of them LESS helpful than just following instinct.

This is one of the best books I've found in terms of the quality of the puzzles, but if you are hoping to improve your skills as a result of this book, you may be disappointed. The author provides graphic examples for the strategies he suggests, but the scope of these and the ability of the puzzler to apply them to future use is so limited that I finally gave up. (I've never quite figured out what the A and B in his examples represent because the whole puzzle is not shown, and I can't see his suggestions in total context!) I've found that the techniques I already have from the Tom Sheldon series have stood me in good stead, however, and I have totally enjoyed, and even admired, Stephens's puzzles. n Mary Whipple

The Big Sudoku Brain Workout: 150 Puzzles for a Younger Mind, Book One, by Tom Sheldon
Sudoku Genius: 144 of the Most Fiendish Puzzles Ever Devised, Book Two, by Tom Sheldon
Sudoku Master Class, Book Three, by Tom Sheldon
Will Shortz Presents The Little Black Book of Sudoku: 400 Puzzles (Will Shortz Presents...)
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Convoluted descriptions 14 juin 2010
Par Humorous footwear - Publié sur Amazon.com
Unfortunately, Mr. Stephens has missed the point of the publishing houses' word choices. He notes that on page 7 is what we needed to know to purchase this book: "Before the puzzles you'll find a 10-page quick reference guide to the solving techniques you'll need to complete this book. This isn't a full sudoku-solving tutorial (for that try my book Mastering Sudoku), but should be enough to jog your memory."

However, most of us don't quite read the introduction in the store. We have limited time, so we are reading the all-important covers and then a quick flip through to see if we want to purchase. And now flip to the back cover where it says "A complete training course...." That word complete says I expected to be fully instructed.

If you are looking at this online, note that we can't read the introduction or back cover at all, so we have to go by the front cover. What you see was "....with gridlock-busting tips and techniques." Technique implies full instructions and the word workbook backs that up.

I also find his sentences convoluted as others did, so I resort to the examples, but the green-on-green tones of the numbers examples--which are also done with a thin, handwriting-like line--are difficult to read. I gave it up and just solve the puzzles.

The book itself has super paper and nicely-sized blocks. The cover flaps are great for noting one's place in both the puzzles and solutions. This is what merited the star.

What I would really like out of a workbook is one that introduces a technique and then has puzzles specifically directed towards that. Then it shows another technique, demonstrates and then builds on that.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An irreplaceable book for those wanting to work on strategy 24 juillet 2008
Par Static - Publié sur Amazon.com
I'm astonished by the negative reveiws of this book -- the only explanation I can see for them is absolute ignorance as to the purpose of the book.

So, as a reminder for those who left negative reviews as to the authors stated intent, I'll copy-paste an excerpt from the introduction:

"Before the puzzles you'll find a 10-page quick reference guide to the solving techniques you'll need to complete this book. This isn't a full sudoku-solving tutorial (for that try my book Mastering Sudoku), but should be enough to jog your memory"

(I.e. the book isn't meant as a replacement for a more comprehensive strategy tutorial...)
10 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Disappointing 18 mai 2008
Par B. Miller - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I'm an avid fan of sudoku. I can do most that are published in papers--even if they're labeled "difficult." sometimes I get stuck, and so i was thinking this volume would help. I was disappointed. The techniques Stephens puts in the front of the book should be helpful,but good luck figuring out his logic. He'll explain a strategy in one to two sentences (very brief) and then show an example, but usually the example only shows a portion of a puzzle. So you cant really see all that's going on and sometimes it's not enough (at least for me) to figure out what the heck he's talking about! If the focus of the book was to TEACH the reader some strategies for sudoku, dont cram a couple dozen strategies in the first 5 pages and expect me to really get them! I would have preferred to see the whole puzzle, maybe even 2 of them to fully show the technique.

The puzzles, on the other hand, were fun. They increase in difficulty and Stephens gives tips on which strategy to use when you get stuck--again, assuming the strategy he's suggesting is one you were able to figure out from his brief description and the fraction of an example, you'll do well.

I recommend this book to skilled sudoku players who want to see hwo far they can get in his increasingly difficult puzzles. Look elsewhere if you want a book to help you with strategy.

UPDATE:
I'm sorry, i should have waited to review the book until i was finished. It actually gets worse. On page 67, he introduces a "box claim" as yet another new technique...this one in not in the front of the book where he supposedly outlines all the techniques he wants to share. So it's here on page 67, and once again explained with a line or 2, and there isnt even half a puzzle example--how frustrating. And in the description of this technique, he references "square single candidates." Nowhere does he use this term...earlier he describes "single candidate squares" and "single square candidates" (and differentiates between the 2)....I wish i could change my rating to ONE STAR. Forget thinking this book will help you, assume all youre getting is a bunch of puzzles (which are pretty fun, i admit).
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