Let’s take a look at some special stationery for sudoku solvers and back-to-schoolers
To solve a sudoku the classic pencil-and-paper way, I often write teeny-tiny numbers into an empty square to mark all the possible answers. As I fill in the rest of the puzzle, I cross off clashing numbers until only one is left. This is the most satisfying part of solving: one more square filled in, one step closer to having a completed sudoku.
It’s also the most frustrating part. To write my nice clear final number in the box, I first need to rub out all the crossed out numbers. Even using a long, narrow rubber, this often also takes out some of my working numbers in the squares on either side, above and below. Once I’ve done this all over the grid, I’m left squinting at my boxes wondering, ‘is that six crossed out, or just accidentally half-erased?’.
Last week, I decided that a solution to this problem must exist. A little research led me to an art supply called an eraser pencil. It looks just like a classic wooden pencil, but instead of a core of graphite for making marks, it has a core of rubber. You can sharpen it just like a wooden pencil, too.
You can see above the difference it makes! The tip is much smaller than even a narrow rubber, and the wooden body can be controlled much more easily. In fact, it’s so precise that instead of crossing out my working numbers, I can erase each one individually.
I’m never going back to a normal rubber, and I’ll be buying my sudoku-loving dad a set of eraser pencils for his next birthday.