One to quit on.

September 23rd, 2007

There’s a great bit in John McPhee’s A Sense of Where You Are that talks about the very last shot Bill Bradley made in a game at Princeton’s home gym. I don’t have the book handy, but if memory serves Bradley made a running left-handed hook shot from 17 feet while going away from the basket. When you’re playing on the playground and you make a killer shot like that, you say, “That’s one to quit on,” and then you pack it in for the day.

This morning I spent (wasted?) more than two hours on the hardest Sudoku puzzle I’ve ever done. It’s possible that my brain was working somewhere below optimum, but mostly I think it was just a really hard puzzle. The bad news was that I spent so much time doing it when I might have been doing other, better things. The good news is that (a) I finished it, and (b) I let the experience of having to take so long drive me to a better answer about how often I should do puzzles like this going forward, viz. not at all. In other words, this was a Sudoku to quit on.

Maybe I’ll let myself do more Sudoku, crosswords, Scrabble,* or whatever when I’m done with my Ph.D. and have a couple of books published. For now, though, I have bigger fish to fry.


* A follow-up to my earlier post on Scrabulous: Finally I’ve uninstalled it from my Facebook altogether. It was fun, but waaaay too distracting. (Also, I have a lot of smart, word-nerd friends who kept beating me . . .)

One Response to “One to quit on.”

  1. What I’ve Learned So Far » Blog Archive » Goodbye, Sudoku. Says:

    […] If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you may recall that I gave up Sudokus a while back. I’m often a backslider when it comes to resolutions like that, and lately I’ve fallen back into the Sudoku trap. On the plane to and from Seattle this week, I worked the puzzles on the Sudoku page of the in-flight magazine. Or rather, I worked the “Gentle” and “Moderate” puzzles, and started in on the “Diabolical” one. […]

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