Sudoku Pencils

Can it get any more specific? Yes, it can. How about Sudoku Book Cover Pencils?

Unless you’re one of those mad geniuses who does the NY Times Crossword Puzzle in pen, you probably associate word searches, crosswords, and Sudoku with wooden pencils–wooden pencils with working erasers, thank you. So, it’s no surprise puzzle books often have pencils on their covers.

Within this tiny sub-genre–Sudoku book covers featuring pencils–we found some of the same themes and techniques, and dissolutions, we would expect to encounter in a general survey of art history.

Look at this nice Trompe l’oeil photo cover.

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Here photo-realism evaporates into pure abstraction, where the mystical Sudoku forces interact.

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Books in this¬† “Grab A Pencil” series all feature the same little collection of pencils. Note how they are carefully arranged–or else the photos are doctored–to hide the pencil brand names.


Puzzle Time! This trompe l’oeil gets some cartoonish stylization–the pencil and the surrounding design swap colors. Did they create the cover to match the pencil, or was it the other way around?

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Let’s look at a few abstract pencils. This one has a single corner line, an unusual perspective,¬† chosen for simplicity over realism.


Sudoku books by “Clarity Media” feature a pencil so abstract it looks like a glyph.

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Somehow the black-leaded pencil glyph writes red numbers.

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Approaching cubism now. Has a pencil ever looked so enormous? This perspective is not attainable in real life.

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Will Shortz must have made so much money on Sudoku books. I imagine him and a graphic designer perhaps drinking a little too much kombucha and then brainstorming versions for every possible theme, size, and setting. A few favorites…

The obligatory trompe l'oeil

The obligatory trompe l’oeil


Pencil with flaming tip.


C’mon, a pencil-scythe?

And now, some Dali-influenced pencil imagery. I had expected to find more broken and twisted pencils, but this was the only one I came across. It looks like the “X-TREME” difficulty of these Sudoku puzzles caused a telekinetic mishap.

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A Bic pen? Doesn’t this just look wrong?

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But this wrong. Should kids be taking Sudoku this seriously?

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Not a puzzle book, but…wow.



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