The puzzles are not yet ready to go back online, but read on, there is one special Sudoku to try now – see below.
It is now a couple of weeks since the Puzzles disappeared from AudlemOnline and it has been a major headache for our Technical Fast Response Unit to discover what had happened to them.
Apparently the servers in that branch of the Google Empire which contains the AudlemOnline website had become so full of nonsense about vaccinations, Brexit, lockdown rules, people throwing statues into Bristol Harbour etc etc that something had to give, and by unlucky chance it was our puzzle control files which quietly and unobtrusively fell unnoticed out of the back of the server cabinet. They lay there in the dust mixed up with the other accumulated debris that you find under cookers, fridges and computer server cabinets, until somebody came across them during a regular clean of the premises.
Fortunately, they appear to be none the worse for the experience, but of course they need a thorough health and safety check before they can be put back into the cabinet, and this, sorry to say, will take a few days yet.
It is a little known fact that Sudokus were invented by Calpurnia, Caesar's Wife, who although above suspicion was also famous as one of the Lays of Ancient Rome. She was regarded as the Ada Babbage of her day, and came up with the "nodus novem"** to keep the Senate amused while they were locked down during the Ides of March.
So we have here one of the first such puzzles, believed to date from around 40BC – click here to try to solve it..
Caesar apparently spent days solving the puzzle, hampered by having to chip out the answer on a handy solid pillar of stone. When he triumphantly displayed his answer, Brutus produced a solution he had jotted down earlier on the back of a spare piece of parchment, whereupon Ceasar cried "Et tu, Brute" and collapsed, dead, on the floor.
**Literally "Puzzle of Nine" – Renamed Sudoku by the Japanese when they produced the plastic version in 1984.