Last Saturday I noticed a Sudoku puzzle in NST.I tried to solve the puzzle, but my rusty brain could not work it out.It really challenged my mathematical minded aging brain and it gave me the hint that I am not as fast as when I was younger.It really bothered me,so I decided to learn more about it and started looking for a book that can teach me how to solve the puzzles faster and simpler.It is not only the speed that I am after, but being someone who loves mathematics,I am also searching for more elegant way to arrive at the solution.IMHO, simplicity of problem solving is a beauty by itself....
Most of the bookshops that I visited have the books I wanted but they cost more than RM25 each and some are more RM40!.It is not that I am stingy, but in my own version of 'geekness',a cheaper device is cooler.Anyone can solve complex problems with complex and costly tools, but it will give me better sense of achievement and satisfation if I can do the same thing with simpler and cheaper device.
After my alumni get together at KL Sentral Food court last night,I went down to smaller mamak bookshop and to my pleasant suprise I saw a small booklet on Sudoku Puzzle.It contains 111 puzzles and some helpful tips and it cost me RM9.90.On arrival at home, I immediately called my youngest son,a 16 years old boy to read and try to solve the first puzzle. I told him that I read the tips but still felt confused.After half an hour,he came back with a solution and he told me how he used the tips to solve the puzzle.
Knowledge wise, I think I knew more than my son as far as mathematics is concerned. My handicap was that my extra knowledge clouded my thinking and it generated too many possibilities.The wisdom that I can learn from this event is that we need only to apply a simple tool for a specific job,but not simpler or too complicated/complex.
Note: My apologies to my readers that my postings this week is mostly about books.I think it has got to do with my current readings:
1.The Old man and The Sea-by Hemingway
2.Omerta-by Mario Puzo
My thanks to Lina for the book recommendation.