The American Prospect - Surviving Sudoku
There are two reasons why Sudoku drives so many crossword experts to drink. First, the artistic reason: Some puzzle writers view Sudoku as too boring, a mindless game you can practically brute-force a solution out of any time you want, like a word search. This criticism isn't entirely fair, though, since Sudoku, like crosswords, can be calibrated to very high levels of solving difficulty, and there is a certain mathematical elegance in the deep logic required to unravel key areas of a well-made, tough Sudoku.Includes an interesting story of the marketing guys wanting a new name for coded crosswords - and it "has to be Japanese." Welcome kaidoku.
The deeper reason for the backlash is sheer resentment: Many of us have spent serious chunks of our lives honing the craft of crossword-puzzle writing, and along comes this computer-generated fad that's winning the hearts and minds of the masses. If everyone loves Sudoku so much, who needs us anymore? With one click of his mouse, Gould -- who provides his puzzles free to 400 papers around the world as a marketing plan to sell his Sudoku-generating program -- quite possibly entertains more people than all the crossword writers in the United States combined. And because Sudoku isn't language-specific, Gould's reach is international to a much greater degree than ours is. Hence, the hurt feelings -- and the hostility. Pity the successful; they pay for it somehow.
ADDED -Now this Sudoku might take you awhile.