Here’s a game similar to sudoku called LingDoku (illustration top right), which is designed for linguists. According to the Speculative Grammarian, the site where I came across it, “LingDoku simplifies the logical components of SuDoku, and introduces a thin veneer of linguistics which confuses outsiders while making linguists feel superior.”.

The rules of LingDoku are straightforward. Using the nine IPA symbols in the table above, complete the unfinished table below. Each symbol occurs exactly once in the box, and no row or column may contain more than one symbol with either the same place or same manner of articulation. If this one is too easy, there’s a more challenging version called Samurai LingDoku here.

The Speculative Grammarian is well worth a thorough browse, packed as it is with “twisted ramblings, academic parody [and] satirical linguistics”, including The Lingo – A car designed for linguists… by linguists, The European Dialects of Cheese, and crosswords for linguists.

This entry was posted in Language, Linguistics.

9 Responses to LingDoku

  1. Daniel says:

    You’ve outdone yourself once again, Simón. How do you manage to dig all this stuff up?

  2. BG says:

    The first one was very easy, but I’ve done SuDoku before. I haven’t tried the Samurai LingDoku yet, but it looks a bit harder. I have done a real Samurai SuDoku which had five puzzles and was really hard (this one has three). I could only finish it by working with someone else.

    This looks like an interesting site.

  3. Simon says:

    Daniel – I usually find stuff like this quite by chance. Yesterday, for example, I started by googling for ‘language barriers’, this lead me to some language-related cartoons, which lead me to the Speculative Grammarian, where I found LingDoku, after a bit of looking around.

  4. rek says:

    It’s my experience that linguists do not need help feeling superior.

  5. jake says:

    Here, Here.
    It’s everyone else who needs to feel inferior.

  6. Chibi says:

    Thanks for this link, the Sudoku (one of my favorite mind games :D) were very interesting! The Samurai one was a bit tough (took me about 40-45 minutes to do), but the Monster one is just ridiculous! I don’t even understand the rules!

  7. Trey Jones says:

    Trey of SpecGram here.

    Chibi, I created the Monster LingDoku, and I think it is ridiculous, too. However, two people have already solved it!

    The Monster LingDoku has three overlapping puzzles, one each for the initial, medial, and final Hangul jamo. Solve them independently, then combine the three jamo in each square into a single Hangul character. It’s mind-numbing!

    OTOH, if you actually go to all the trouble to solve it within the next month, you have a very good chance of winning a prize (in the past every correct entry has won something).

    Simon, thanks for the great review of SpecGram. I love Omniglot.. whenever I’m working on an article and I think, I need a weird character no one has ever seen before, I head here.

    I think I overdid it for one puzzle in particular.. Masyu Ortograpiu. I got a lot of good material here for that puzzle, and even gave the URL as a hint to many folks, but no one else could solve it! It’s actually even more ridiculous than the Monster LingDoku.

  8. maki says:

    what an idea! beautiful!!

  9. Soduko says:

    if you are into Sudoku you shall check out soduko which is a new puzzle game that’s getting popular lately :-)