Articles

1) - Mom inspires Plymouth author's sudoku book

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Divyang (Dave) Pandit of Plymouth Township used to find sudoku puzzles difficult. That changed a few years ago with a trip to Houston, Texas, to see his mother, now 91.

The retired General Motors engineer took a family trip in the summer of 2008 and began to unravel the sudoku solution code. His mother, Sushilaben Pandit, showed him what sudoku and east Indian folk dance have in common.

In a popular circle dance called "Garba" in the western state of Gujarat, dancers go around and around, with different steps, until the song or music is done. Pandit was surprised to see on that trip that his mom, without English skills and a seventh-grade education, could finish sudoku puzzles.

"It's simple," she told him, comparing the puzzles to the dance steps. "She said, 'I'll show you how. You take the steps and go around and around.'"

The author of Sudoku Puzzles "Guru," which was self-published this year, compared the dance to a stone in India in the center of a circle used for grinding wheat. Pandit retired from GM in 2008 after nearly 40 years there. He had begun to do sudoku puzzles a couple of years earlier.

"Sudoku starting showing up in quite a few newspapers," said The Detroit News reader, who doesn't do crosswords. "I said, 'Let me try it.'" With an engineering background, he tried a mathematical approach. "After a couple tries, I couldn't get anywhere," he said. "I said maybe I'm doing something wrong.' That 2008 Houston trip was for his brother's health problems, with the brother now doing well. Pandit was also in London, England, for a family wedding and noted sudoku is in newspapers there and worldwide.

His book's first part has "Guru Methods" of how-to steps. Part 2 has 52 examples of varying difficulty. The cover notes sudoku is the "Rubik's Cube of the 21st Century."

He talked to a Pittsburgh, Pa., publisher about the book, but went the self-publishing route. Pandit, a U.S. citizen who came here in 1968 said, "I'm learning what the e-book is all about." Sudoku Puzzles "Guru" will soon be an e-book.

Written By : Julie Brown, Staff Writer, Plymouth Observer, A Gannett Company
Published By : hometownlife.com., Sunday, July 7, 2013

2) Katy mom inspires Sudoku solution book

Retirement for engineer Dave Pandit, from Plymouth, Michigan, is going great. In November 2008, after almost 30 years with General Motors in various Information Technology and Engineering global assignments, he was finally ready to tackle, demystify and publish a simple manual for "How to solve Sudoku Puzzles?"

After countless attempts to solve the popular numbers game earlier, Pandit was stumped. This struggle made him reluctant to keep trying and kept him on the sideline from Sudoku-land pleasures. It wasn't until a trip to visit family in Katy that November, that he started to unravel the Sudoku solution code.

It was his 86-year-old mother, Katy resident Sushilaben Pandit, who showed him what Sudoku and East Indian folk dance had in common. In a popular circle dance called "Garba" in the western state of Gujarat in India, one goes round and round, with different steps, until the song or music is done. She directed her son: "Solve the Sudoku puzzle the same way."

In six years since, Pandit has been working on continuously improving Sudoku Puzzles "Guru" Methods, inspired by his mother. It has resulted in an easy-to-follow, puzzle-solving manual, which outlines these unique techniques.

The inaugural print edition is in two parts. Part-I illustrates, "Guru" methods with sample examples, and Part-II provides 52 examples for practice to master these methods.

In the process of learning this game and writing the book, Pandit has learned much about himself.

"I am reminded of my past reluctance to read comics from the daily newspapers, '' he said. '' For so many years, the first thing I would discard from a daily newspaper, was its funnies section. One day, my son, Adarsh, when in his high school years, introduced me to some of the comics he was fond of. Since then, not only I regularly read many of those comic strips with enjoyment, but I have also introduced some of them to my grandchildren."

Pandit's book costs $19.99 plus shipping and handling, and is available through website www.SudokuPuzzlesGuru.Com and also on www.Amazon.Com and www.ebay.com

To reach Pandit, e-mail him at sudokugurudev@gmail.com.

Written & Published By : Katy Times, Greg Densmore, Managing Editor

3) Travelers, learn the secrets of Sudoku and show off

Divyang (Dave) Pandit could not understand it. He was a General Motors mechanical engineer. He could obviously do math. He had traveled all over the world on business. And yet when the Plymouth man tried to do Sudoku, he couldn't get the hang of it.

Then he flew to Texas to see his 84-year-old mother. To his surprise, she was a Sudoku whiz.

"I asked, 'Who is doing these Sudoku puzzles?' "he says. "And she said, 'I am.' "

Pandit pledged then to unlock the secret so he or anyone could do Sudoku.

Now, after six long years, countless interviews with Sudoku players and doing 500-plus Sudoku puzzles each year, Pandit has published "Sudoku Puzzles Guru" (PR International, $19.99, www.sudokupuzzlesguru.com). It is a 236-page how-to manual on how to play.

That's right - 236 pages. Don't freak out.

Many of the pages are practice puzzles. There are no long paragraphs. It's more like a manual. You start here. You follow these rules. You succeed.

"I am an engineer, so my book has a lot of bullets and charts," says Pandit, 68.

And rules are what this is all about.

Never guess

Most Sudoku players already know his first rule: never guess. It leads to disaster in the Japanese number game in which you have to fill in digits one to nine in nine separate clusters so they appear only once in each box, column and row. "I want to make sure you are 110% sure," Pandit says. But here is a tip I didn't know: You should count the number of answers provided in the 81-square puzzle. If it's less than 29, expect a challenge (and if any one of the numerals 1 to 9 is completely missing, it'll be even harder.) Another caveat: Take a marker and make sure the boxes are darkly delineated to help your eye.

Pandit also advocates keeping a box score to the right, tallying where you are in the puzzle-solving process. He advocates going through a regimented method of checking clusters, rows, and columns then advancing to something called "only digit" and "what if" strategies that involve a very controlled form of guessing between two numbers.

I'm the jump-around, sudden-insight pattern type of player, so at first it was hard for me to follow the methodical method. But when I took it with me on a California flight recently and tried it, it worked on a hard-level puzzle. As a mediocre but avid Sudoku player who has screwed up countless puzzles while in the air, in hotel rooms or on the train, I was suddenly more successful at the really tricky puzzles that trap you in knots.

A real boost Pandit, a native of Gujarat, India, used to travel frequently for business and now travels with his wife for leisure. He says even Sudoku dropouts can be rehabilitated.

The method he uses echoes the traditional Indian circle dance Garba, in which the dancer goes around and around until the dance is complete.

"It's addictive," he says of the little portable puzzle that became a worldwide craze in 2004, especially for travelers. "After I do this, I feel like I've climbed Mt. Everest. It's therapeutic. It's an accomplishment."

He says he recently was on a flight from London to the U.S., and as usual, he talked to all the Sudoku players on the plane to find out their methods.

And as usual, "everybody said, 'I have a set of methods that I use, but I do not get it right all the time,' "says the Sudoku guru.

You can get the book at his website above, but if you're a traveler with a Sudoku fix, I have two copies to give away. Be one of the first two people to e-mail me with your name and address and I;ll send one of them to you.

Happy Sudoku travels.

Contact Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager, the Michigan Traveler, at 313-222-6498 or ecreager@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellencreager

4) How travelers can learn the secrets of Sudoku and show off

Divyang (Dave) Pandit could not understand it.

He was a General Motors mechanical engineer. He could obviously do math. He had traveled all over the world on business.

And yet when he tried to do Sudoku, he couldn't get the hang of it.

Then he flew to Texas to see his 84-year-old mother. To his surprise, she was a Sudoku whiz.

"I asked, 'Who is doing these Sudoku puzzles:' "he says.

"And she said, 'I am.' "

Pandit pledged then to unlock the secret so he or anyone could do Sudoku.

Now, after six long years, countless interviews with Sudoku players and doing 500-plus Sudoku puzzles each year, Pandit has published "Sudoku Puzzles Guru" (PR International, $19.99, www.sudokupuzzlesguru.com). It is a 236-page how-to manual on how to play, and travelers are his target audience.

That's right -- 236 pages. Don't freak out. Many of the pages are practice puzzles. It's more like a manual. You start here. You follow these rules. You succeed.

"I am an engineer, so my book has a lot of bullets and charts," says Pandit, 68. And rules are what this is all about.

Most Sudoku players already know his first rule: Never guess. It leads to disaster in the Japanese number game in which you have to fill in digits one to nine in nine separate clusters so they appear only once in each box, column and row.

"I want to make sure you are 110 percent sure," Pandit says.

But here is a tip I didn't know: You should count the number of answers provided in the 81-square puzzle. If it's less than 29, expect a challenge (and if any one of the numerals 1 to 9 is completely missing, it'll be even harder.) Another caveat: Take a marker and make sure the boxes are darkly delineated to help your eye.

Pandit also advocates keeping a box score to the right, tallying where you are in the puzzle-solving process. He advocates going through a regimented method of checking clusters, rows, and columns then advancing to something called "only digit" and "what if" strategies that involve a very controlled form of guessing between two numbers.

I'm the jump-around, sudden-insight pattern type of player, so at first it was hard for me to follow the methodical method. But when I took it with me on a California flight recently and tried it, it worked on a hard-level puzzle. As a mediocre but avid Sudoku player who has screwed up countless puzzles while in the air, in hotel rooms or on the train, I was suddenly more successful at the really tricky puzzles that trap you in knots.

Pandit, a native of Gujarat, India, who now lives in Michigan, used to travel frequently for business and now travels with his wife for leisure. He says even Sudoku dropouts can be rehabilitated.

The method he uses echoes the traditional Indian circle dance Garba, in which the dancer goes around and around until the dance is complete.

"It's addictive," he says of the little portable puzzle that became a worldwide craze in 2004, especially for travelers. "After I do this, I feel like I've climbed Mount Everest. It's therapeutic. It's an accomplishment."

He says he recently was on a flight from London to the United States, and as usual, he talked to all the Sudoku players on the plane to find out their methods.

And as usual, "everybody said, 'I have a set of methods that I use, but I do not get it right all the time,' " says the Sudoku guru.

Happy Sudoku travels.

San Jose Mercury News and Bay Area News Group

travel@bayareanewsgroup.com // 408-920-5960

Written By: Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press, Rewritten & Posted By: Linda Zavoral, San Jose Mercury News, Sunday, Sept. 15th, 2013