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 Post subject: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:21 am 
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Today I introduced my 7 year old son to sudoku puzzles, and spent a few minutes showing him how to complete one puzzle. Then I let him start a new puzzle on his own. However, instead of working progressively through different parts across the entire puzzle, he just filled in the six numbers that were missing in the first row, from left to right, but in apparently random order. I explained that he couldn't do that because he couldn't be sure the numbers were in the right place, but I let him continue to show how he would run into inconsistencies later in the puzzle.

But amazingly, he completed the puzzle on his own without any errors! I couldn't believe it.

I calculate the odds of getting all initial 6 numbers in the right place to be 1 in 6! = 1/720. I asked him how and why he put the numbers where he put them, but he couldn't explain. And I know he didn't cheat by looking at the answers in the back, because he didn't know they were there, and I was watching over him as he did it.

Was this pure luck, or something incredible about the human brain that I don't understand?

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:29 am 
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Give him a few more to do (ideally of varying difficulty) and see what happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:31 am 
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I certainly will, but right now he got bored and wants to do something different! :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:07 am 
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Give him a Kakuro, that is something different. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:47 am 
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I assume he was just lucky unless and until he can repeat this...

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:13 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:
I calculate the odds of getting all initial 6 numbers in the right place to be 1 in 6! = 1/720.


I think the chance to have all the numbers right must be much higher, because some numbers are allready filled in on a sudoku grid, and so there are less possible combinations.
Maybe this sudoku was very easy ?

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http://1002-puzzles.blogspot.be/


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Of course there is only one solution, so the odds are actually 100% if you work it all out the proper way, but by pure guessing the odds are much slimmer.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:13 pm 
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What was the brand and difficulty level? Some Sudoku publishers make some... very poor quality "Easy" puzzles, to put it politely, where each row is simply shifted by a different amount. Once you notice one, they become quite obvious. He might have noticed it. Which would still make him smart! :)

Could you copy the puzzle to this topic?


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Give him a Rubik's Cube and see how he gets on. That will answer your question.

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
Give him a Rubik's Cube and see how he gets on. That will answer your question.
Give him a *Qubami* for extra credit ;)

Dave

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LitwinPuzzles.com has info on my puzzles.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:08 pm 
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He's probably a genius. You know as they always say, "Like father; like son!" :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:12 pm 
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I don't mean to be rude, but doesn't the word genius have an implication that they are creating something new/ original?
I'm not saying he isn't smart, just that he probably isn't a genius because he solved a sudoku, I think it's likely the solution existed before.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:35 am 
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Thanks, guys. I'll let you know what happens with the next sudoku, once I can persuade him to do another after school. I just know that I would never have been able to do what he did, except by pure chance.

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If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done - Thomas Jefferson


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:46 am 
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Ha your story is great.
I actually guess it was luck.

Because if he was really that brilliant I suppose he would have had some kind of exciting "epiphany" or so. I guess he would have wanted more and more right away the first time he experienced it. Although I do not know at all.

Keep us updated. This is interesting.

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eat. sleep. train. repeat.


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:59 am 
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alaskajoe wrote:
Ha your story is great.
I actually guess it was luck.

Yes, I think so too because he hasn't been able to repeat, but you can imagine how shocked I was.

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If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done - Thomas Jefferson


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:27 pm 
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He can still fill in your lottery tickets :)


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 Post subject: Re: Is my son a genius, or just very, VERY lucky?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:35 pm 
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cisco wrote:
He can still fill in your lottery tickets :)

Even better! :lol:

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If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done - Thomas Jefferson


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