I don’t even really remember how it happened. Was it a puzzle in the newspaper? Did someone tell me about it? Did I see something about it on TV? I have no idea, but by sometime in 2005 I was working on my obsession with sudoku.

I’ve always enjoyed logic problems, so this was really just a natural progression, I suppose. But the thing is, I work — or want to work — on sudoku puzzles pretty much every day. I think it might actually be one reason I do so little cross stitch these days; it’s relaxing to me in a very similar way. (One other reason is because I just got burned out on cross stitch, but I keep hoping I’ll feel like picking up the needle, fabric, and thread again one day soon.)

The trouble is, there have been several puzzles I just can’t solve. A friend gave me a 2006 page-a-day sudoku calendar for Christmas in 2005, and I still have about 20 puzzles I haven’t been able to finish. I have another I bought myself this year that has four difficulty levels that rotate each day. So far I’ve solved one of the highest difficulty puzzles. One, of about 25. It’s going to be a long year at this rate.

So when I saw The Sudoku Addict’s Workbook (Paul Stephens) with “gridlock-busting tips and techniques” at the bookstore today, I knew I had to buy it. Where has this book been all this time? Apparently waiting to be released last Tuesday. However, the same fellow has another book published over a year ago, Mastering Sudoku Week by Week, with “52 steps to becoming a sudoku wizard.” Sounds great! So now both have been added to my sudoku collection, and at least Mastering will be coming with me to Vegas Friday.

The problem now is putting it down long enough to get all the stuff done I need to do this week. You know, like pack.