Sudoku enthusiasts rolled into the Big Apple to compete in a frozen feat and demonstrate their puzzle prowess in the "Chrysler Aspen Snowdoku Challenge" on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The super-size sudoku puzzle, which was made out of 36,000 pounds of snow and ice, was solved in 4 minutes and 26 seconds by a team of puzzle pros from the University of Pennsylvania swim team. For their efforts, the members of team Penn Swimming were awarded a grand prize trip to Aspen, Colo., where they will ride in style during their stay in an all-new 2007 Chrysler Aspen, the brand's first sport-utility vehicle.
"I have always loved the challenge of solving puzzles, but I never knew that sudoku could be such an intense, team sport," said Tara Gillies, 18, a member of the winning "Snowdoku" team. "When we were sitting inside the Chrysler Aspen, we had a feeling we were going to win and now I can't believe that we're all going to Aspen together!"
Team Penn Swimming was one of six teams that were selected to compete in the "Chrysler Aspen Snowdoku Challenge" after registering online for a chance to participate. Teams were allowed to have anywhere from two to eight players and were challenged to work together using a six-foot long pencil to solve the giant "Snowdoku" puzzle in the shortest amount of time.
The game board, which was approximately 30 feet by 30 feet, transformed the traditionally solitary game of sudoku into an enormous, high-energy outdoor team sporting event in New York City's Bryant Park. To help prepare for the snowy challenge, each team was given time to "warm-up" inside the eight-passenger Chrysler Aspen before having up to 20 minutes to solve the puzzle.
During the "warm-up" teams worked together to discuss strategy before racing to pick up the oversized writing tool and complete the giant "Snowdoku" puzzle. The collegiate members of Team Penn Swimming included Tara Gillies, 18, originally of Bay Head, N.J., Laura D'Erasmo, 19, originally of Greenwich, Conn. Cammie Villarreal, 22, originally of New Canaan, Conn. Nicole Malgeri, 20, originally of Jasper, Ga., and Amy Reams, 18, originally of Evanston, Ill.
"With so many consumers driving the sudoku trend, we thought it would be fun to refine the traditional game - just as we have refined the traditional SUV with the 2007 Chrysler Aspen - and challenge consumers to experience a new way to play their favorite number game," said David Rooney, Director - Chrysler Marketing & Global Communications.
The sudoku puzzles used during the "Chrysler Aspen Snowdoku Challenge" were provided by Will Shortz and St. Martin's Press.