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Puzzlingly compelling: watch a man solve 'miracle' Sudoku with only two numbers filled in

'Wholesome' content that will have you lose hours on YouTube

There is no doubt about it, we're bored and not even Netflix is churning out content quick enough to keep us content. However, these days, it seems as though we're looking for new creative ways to be entertained (see watching marble racing and Tetris tournaments).

Amongst the long days spent at home, two men have earned a cult following on YouTube, where people watch them solve tricky sudoku videos.

On May 10, the Cracking The Cryptic channel – which boasts more than 216,000 followers – posted The Miracle Sudoku video for Simon Anthony to solve. The puzzle only had two numbers to start with and the challenge was set by Mark Goodliffe, who co-runs the channel with Anthony.

“You’ve got to be joking,” Anthony says upon first seeing the puzzle. He assumes that Goodliffe is "trolling" him, and the video won't see the light of day. Oh, how wrong he was. At the time of writing, the 26-minute video had over 787,800 views.

'The Miracle Sudoku' which Simon Anthony cracks in a gripping puzzle solving video. YouTube / Cracking The Cryptic
'The Miracle Sudoku' which Simon Anthony cracks in a gripping puzzle solving video. YouTube / Cracking The Cryptic

The puzzle has more specific rules that a typical sudoku. As well as the traditional rules that a number cannot appear in a row or box more than once, he was also limited by the knight's and king's moves in chess and numbers cannot be consecutive, so a 1 and a 2 cannot be beside each other, for example.

As he perseveres, no one is as shocked as Anthony that he is managing to crack it.

"We may have to actually take this a bit more seriously," he says as he realises that it may just be a solvable puzzle.

The comments on the video reflect his glee at successfully solving the puzzle.

"Me: There's no way I'm going to watch a 25-minute video of some dude playing sudoku. Me: Cheers loudly when he places the 7,8,9s rapid fire," wrote one user.

Another said: "This is the most wholesome content I have ever witnessed".

Goodlife is, according to their video biographies, a 12-time reigning Times crossword champion and reigning UK sudoku champion. Anthony is a former UK team member in world sudoku and world puzzle championships.

In the YouTube description, the duo share a link to the puzzle, for people to try themselves at home.

Updated: May 26, 2020 10:11 AM

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