Sometimes, you don’t want a mega Mensa-tastic mindbender. Instead, you just want some mild stimulation to pass the time or to keep yourself ticking over. This is where an easy Sudoku can really fit the bill.
You might be a beginner, new to Sudoku. Or you might just be in the mood for something quick and simple. Either way, easy-level Sudokus are the business. All you need is to know where to find them. Keep reading.
Why play Sudoku?
Evidence suggests that keeping your brain busy is good for mental health. OK, this is pretty old news. Use it or lose it, as the pithy expression goes. So what does Sudoku do that spells good news for the old grey matter?
The main plus is that it involves what is known as executive cognitive functions. Put another way; it's teaching you to focus on a strategic way of thinking, involving conceptualising moves two or three steps ahead. A bit like chess, but you don’t need an opponent and a two-hour coffee break to complete it.
Why does thinking strategically help? Because directing your brain to work in such a logical fashion helps guard against mental deterioration and keeps your thinking sharp. It's reckoned that regular Sudoku sessions can keep your brain up to 10 years younger.
Being absorbed in an activity like this is good for mindfulness, too, because it empties our brain of the usual minute-by-minute distractions and sends it in an all-consuming direction. The benefits of mindfulness are well documented.
Finally, giving yourself numerical challenges will benefit you in terms of how you deal with numbers in other areas. It's good to familiarise yourself with them as much as possible so that you won't be quite so stressed next time you have to do a bit of mental arithmetic. You'll be among friends, after all. For my part, I'm very close to 2, 4 and 6. But I find 1, 3 and 5 odd.
A bit of background
We could tell you how to play Sudoku in the first place. But, chances are, you know how to fill that 3x3 box grid already, so instead, we'll get straight on with the information on where to find the puzzles you crave.
OK, eyes down for a full house… (Sorry, wrong game.)
This site gives a nice clear Sudoku grid with not too many missing numbers. First, you select the grid space, then you go to the number pad alongside and choose the number you wish to insert. It'll then tell you if your move was a good one or not. Three of the latter, and it's game over.
It's strict, but it does have a softer side - you can ask for a second chance and hints too, which it will grant with true generosity.
New York Times
Using the same online game technique as in the last site, you select the grid space and the number to go in there until it's solved, and you get that rush of adrenaline that puts you in the same bracket as an F1 driver or fighter pilot. Very nearly, anyway.
And if you’re struggling, the New York Times hint facility will get you back to playing Sudoku like a pro in no time.
This is another one with a number pad from which you select your number before entering it into the grid space of your choice. An added feature on this site is the Notes function, which enables you to enter a tiny number into the grid without it counting as an actual move - more of a placeholder. It's handy if you're not entirely sure if the move is a good one.
Sudokuonline.io/easy also features a Check for Solution option, enabling you to see whether a given move is a good idea.
Puzzles to Print
So, as the name suggests, this site gives printable mental challenges that you need to fill in with an actual pen. For some, proper penmanship is all part of the ritual, and things aren't the same when played on a screen.
There are also medium difficulty and more challenging Sudoku puzzles, as well as crosswords and cryptograms. A puzzler's paradise.
We’ll end with a site that does a nice line in Sudoku apps, so if you like brain games on your mobile, this one's for you. It offers a great range of difficulty levels, so when you're ready to tackle hard Sudoku puzzles, this will give you number games with all the challenge you need.
So, you have five great options for your easy Sudoku fix. There’s no reason now to be bored. What’s more, every time you solve Sudoku, your brain benefits, so you should become sharper and sharper as you go on. Soon, you'll not just solve them; you'll set them. Or be coming up with an even better game.
So, take the strain… (Sorry, wrong game again.)