Here it is, my new puzzle that combines baseball and sudoku. And, as promised, it’s an interesting variation on sudoku and it requires some knowledge of baseball. I had been trying for a while now to work out a puzzle that required a solver to recreate the events of a baseball game using only the box score, in part because I wanted to know if it could be done. I took this idea and added sudoku elements to it to get my new puzzle: Scoreboard Sudoku. Here’s an example of the puzzle that I made up to illustrate my idea.
As you can see, the grid in the center is essentially a sudoku grid. In the case of a scoreboard sudoku, each row represents a batter and each column represents an inning. The internal squares are there just to make it a true sudoku. Although I will point out here that the scoreboard at fenway puts a wider gap between innings 3 and 4, as well as 6 and 7.
The letters and numbers in each block represent the result of each at bat. Also based on the complete game information, I’ve filled in the number of runs scored in each inning as well as the at bats, hits, and runs for each player. Here are the nine different results that can be filled into the grid.
- 1B = single; runners advance one base
- 2B = double; runners advance two bases
- 3B = triple
- HR = home run
- BB = walk
- E = reached first base on error; runners advance one base
- GO = ground out; lead runner on base with possible force is out; no double plays; runners advance one base
- FO = fly out; runners do not advance
- K = strikeout
Now here’s where some variation can come into the puzzle. These nine results could be changed to some other set of nine results, or they could be altered to allow double plays, etc. Also, we could give information in addition to at bats, hits, and runs. Or we could take away some information. As long as we can still solve the puzzle.
You’ve probably noticed this already, but not all of the blocks will be filled in. As soon as there are three outs in an inning, that side is no longer at bat. However, one rule that I’ve found to be very important for this puzzle is that all of the blocks coulb be filled in to form a valid sudoku.