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A dumbed down Fiendish Su Doku Book 5.,
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This review is from: The Times Fiendish Su Doku Book 5 (Paperback)
I like The Times Fiendish Su Doku series of books. They are my favourite series of Su Doku books. The puzzles are generally correctly categorized and uniformly difficult. Within the puzzle, the individual cell size is large enough to enter the range of possible candidates. The book construction is adequate and it doesn't readily fall to pieces.
However, the Book 5 that has just been released is a great disappointment. It is too easy. It is certainly not really a Fiendish level set of puzzles.
The Super Fiendish level puzzles are particularly misnamed. Out of the full set of 20 puzzles, only one needed any of the more advanced techniques! This is not a proper level of difficulty. Solving a Super Fiendish should give a sense of elation, because it was properly difficult. It is necessary that at least a few puzzles require a number of different advanced "tricks" to solve them. Unfortunately, this is not true of Book 5.
Normally in this series of books I can do about half of the Super Fiendish puzzles in one sitting each. With the other half I get bored doing the work required to eliminate the final key redundant candidate. This is the candidate that is essential to unlock the complete solution. I satisfy myself with the belief that, if I really wanted to, then I could solve it later. Often I do, sometimes I don't. I still get a sense of achievement believing that I could complete it later.
With Book 5 I solved all 20 Super Fiendish in virtually one sitting per puzzle. On one I made an error, started again and solved it. On just one other, you have to identify a long Forcing Chain. Once this is done it completes quite easily.
Unfortunately, the overall impression that you are left with is not elation at solving a really difficult puzzle, but a disappointment that not enough were difficult. None of them are really Super Fiendish! This is a great shame.
I look forward to Book 6, ever the optimist.
Colin Bass The Times Fiendish Su Doku Book 5
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Initial post: 24 Jun 2012 08:00:46 BDT
Totally agree. A book of hollow victories. Should be 'Medium' or at best 'Hard'. Not up to the standard of some of the earliest editions.
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