Code, Sudoku, Repeat – Tech-Weekend
For an average Sudoku enthusiast, a pleasant morning would consist of some hot coffee, and an
attempt at the sudoku from the national daily. The organizers from IEEE thought it would be a fun
idea to heat up the challenge by slotting coding to the mix. If it wasn’t clear enough for the
participants already, “Code Sudoku is fun” seemed to pop out incessantly, much like the obstacles
the participants were up against in this fixture.
The three-tiered competition was divided into two questionnaires. Section I offered the participants the engaging challenge of a “sqiggly” sudoku. A variation on the traditional sudoku game, its boxes can have a variety of shapes and may contain fewer than the usual nine boxes. The distinct shape of the board and the spaces within it provides a new challenge to seasoned sudoku players looking for a more difficult puzzle to solve. The given sudoku was a nine-by-nine grid with unique patterns which tested the contestants’ problem-solving prowess. Section II brought into the fold the participants’ coding logic basics. This section had fifteen questions which would give the values of fifteen out of the eighty-one slots, where the two-member team were to complete the sudoku with these solved clues. The general census maintained that the questions were relatively easy, but solving the sudoku itself got quite a few challengers to sweat it out. The competing sides were given fifty minutes to complete the first block, and thirty minutes were set for the final section. The third section was a true amalgam of both the elements- coding, and sudoku. The competing sides had to write up four programs with the right logic to give them the keys to unlock the four-by-four sudoku of the final section. The programs, again, were relatively simple, but the time constraint of thirty minutes proved a hard nut to crack for most of the teams. As the event approached crunch time, a legion of “Done!”s echoed in harmony, which was then followed by the clickety finger-snaps and demanding summons of the frustrated contestants. The otherwise calm organizers hadn’t anticipated this chaotic an end to the event.
Code-Sudoku turned out to be an engaging hour for all those involved. The time constraints pushed the forty odd contestants present to come up with better solutions. The organizers were right on the mark when it came to “Code Sudoku is fun”!