A reinvigorated Sudoku obsession

May 11, 2020

Puzzles are amazing. I absolutely love them.

For a while, I would play almost exclusively puzzle video games. 2016 was a great year for me in this regard, when I had played The Witness, Stephen's Sausage Roll and Snakebird, somehow cramming 3 of the best puzzle video games I had ever encountered into one single lump.

Yet, for the longest time, I had never considered pen and paper puzzles, like Sudoku, worthy of praise. It felt like they are all generated and somewhat samey. I would spend hours and hours playing through randomly generated puzzles in the SGT collection for no other reason that to carve some time for a break.

A few months ago I was proven wrong. There is a hidden world of Sudoku I would have never dreamed existed. Most people will indeed have a great time solving randomly generated puzzles, yet some few eccentric folks will simply do magic, and craft custom puzzles, often with strange rules, where finding the right answer is a unique and beautiful journey. They will come up with brilliant patterns of restrictions hidden within these 9 by 9 mazes and somehow stun me in awe while I struggle to solve their work for over an hour.

A few months ago, I discovered Cracking The Cryptic. A wonderfully soothing Youtube channel where a relaxed Brit named Simon solves some of the most amazing grids out there. Not only the puzzles are top notch (and you can play along and solve them yourself, which is obviously what I do), but the way he gets excited towards the end of a solve is just delightful!

I strongly recommend those puzzles, and I hope you have a great time solving a few.