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Sudoku is one of those spectacularly pointless pastimes.
- a pocket calculator can solve it faster than you
- mistakes are undetectable and irreversible, inevitably resulting in the angry crossing out
of a puzzle that has wasted 30 minutes of your life
- on completion there is no satisfaction
in surveying the results, being as they are a bunch
of randomesque numbers
But since lots of people continue to persist with Sudoku, their efforts should be put to good
The SETI institute has a way of using people's spare CPU cycles to analyse radio telescope
data. Some of this data will be sparse, noisy and in need of refinement. If the data could
be recoded into Sudoku squares and distributed via a mobile phone Sudoku game app
which then delivered the results back to SETI, then a time wasting activity could be
transformed into a...slightly less time wasting activity.
As mentioned in an annotation. Note you can "save" the current arrangement of numbers and make guesses, and if you don't like the result, you can "recall" the place you saved. And sequential saves/recalls are supported, too. [Vernon, Jun 08 2012]
||There are various helper tools that can reduce the frustration level, with respect to solving the puzzle. I've linked one that does some grunt-work, without actually doing your thinking for you.
||// slightly less time wasting activity //
||For creativity, I'd give a bun, for low return on investment, a fishbone. 
||Basically the cycles to convert it into a Sudoko
would cost more computing time than the puzzle