New York Times Sudoku Importer

Get the chome extenstion here: New York Times Sudoku Importer.

While building my sudoku with friends app, I ran into the issue of actually loading sudoku puzzles into the app. At first I thought I would add a function to the backend that scrapes the three daily New York Times Sudoku puzzles and offer them as options to users, since thats the puzzle I usually do. This meant bringing in extra dependencies like axios, for making page requests. In fact, the NYT sudoku puzzle seems to make some Ajax requests to set everything up, so a plain get request from axios won’t cut it. I’d need to use a more complex solution like pupeteer, which would pull along an entire chrome binary into the mix. Yuck.

Instead I opted for a more modular solution. An entirely separate standalone program, in this case, a chrome extension, that would convert the puzzles into an amenable format. After a short google search, I found the .sdk format. Essentially, write out a sudoku puzzle, using period of blanks, line by line. This felt like a one-liner and had the added benefit that my app gets all the .sdk’s out there for free.

To use it, simply navigate to the NYT sudoku page and click the extension in the toolbar. That creates a popup with the .sdk text.