Warning: If You’re Not A Fan of Sudoku, You May Want to Just Hit Like and Move On

I came across this mesmerizing video today, thanks to Seth Godin.

At least I found it mesmerizing, but my guess is most people won’t. It’s got two things against it – it’s long by YouTube standards, almost 26 minutes, and it’s a video of a guy solving a Sudoku puzzle (but at least the guy has a cool British accent).

The starting grid is shown above; that’s right, just two numbers. But there are some special rules.

Like all sudoku puzzles, there is exactly one correct solution. In a standard puzzle, the goal is to fill in the grid so that each row, column, and three-by-three section contains the numbers 1 through 9, with no repeats. This particular puzzle also mandates that any two cells separated by a “king’s move” or a “knight’s move” in chess rules cannot contain the same digit, and any two orthogonally adjacent cells cannot contain consecutive digits.

Here’s the must-see video solution:

Even non-Sudoku fans have found it riveting. Perhaps you can blame it on the global lockdown, where people are looking for anything to keep them entertained.

And while it certainly takes great skill to solve this puzzle, I’m more impressed with the person who created this, Mitchell Lee.

What motivated Mitchell to come up with the particular rules that he did? How does Mitchell know that those two cells were the only ones that had to be revealed? Is there another combination of two cells that could have been given that would have still enabled the puzzle to be solved? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions; I guess only Mitchell does.

I feel the same way about crossword puzzles. While some puzzles can be quite challenging to solve, I think the real tip of the hat goes to the person who created such a challenging puzzle.

So did you watch the entire video?

If that was too long for you, here’s a shorter video that is also quite mesmerizing. I came across this less than two-minute video thanks to Ray Visotski. I couldn’t wait to find out who the winner was:


48 thoughts on “Warning: If You’re Not A Fan of Sudoku, You May Want to Just Hit Like and Move On

  1. I love Sudoku, but I could only watch about two minutes of that. It’s easy to tell that even though I’ve completed hundreds if not thousands of those puzzles over the year, this guy has got far more insight than me.

    I guess it’s not too much of a stretch to think that somewhere, somebody is thinking about how they can make competitive Sudoku a spectator sport. Can’t you just imagine the commentary? “Borden goes with the rare diagonal fours pattern. What a move! This guy is a genius!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to comment on the fast-food graph that I saw that on Ray’s blog yesterday. That is one of the most eye-catching ways of showing trends. I was definitely surprised that McDonald’s wasn’t #1.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i am a huge sudoku and crossword fan. i’m not such a fan of math in general, but finding patterns is what i’m good at for some reason. just thinking about this one gives me a headache ,but i sure admire him for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love a good sudoku, so this was amazing to watch. I, like the gentleman in the video, initially thought this was unsolvable, but the inclusion of the extra “chess” move rules was all the difference. I would not have thought it at the beginning should you have asked, but this was actually entertaining to watch. And, I think Joe Buck, would be great on the play-by-play. Jim, you can do the color commentary!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OH NO, not numbers! I don’t do math, yes my dear husband tells me all the time that its not math! He loves it, but its too close to math for me, so I read your fair warning and moved on. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t watch the sudoko video, Jim, I don’t do these puzzles, but I do think they are interesting. The second video was fascinating. Americans must live on junk and takeaway food for there to be so many of these outlets. Gosh! Mind you, you have a big population, but still, gosh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The sudoku puzzle has apparently attracted a lot of viewers who have no interest in such puzzles. It’s just fascinating watching someone think their way through a problem. And yes, as the movie says, we are a Fast Food Nation…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pretty much. My older son is Asperger’s and does not like change. My parents are old and don’t like change. Some battles are not worth fighting. When we travel we go to all the restaurants we want to and experiment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m a creature of habit as well, but it is fun to occasionally try something different. And there’s no better time to do so than when you are traveling…


  7. My husband never fly’s without his sudoku book!! Loves it. When I try I get so far and then I end up having no patience and instead of thinking my way through, I just want to get done…doesn’t go well! Even though I liked the fast food video I rarely go to any of them and it’s been years since I’ve been to most of them. A rare Starbucks but that’s about it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow..how fascinating…I love sudoku but that was another level..awesome… Yesterday Lily and I went shopping and she requested another game to play with grandad…she opted for chess which none of us can play…I started to look it up as I thought ok, Carol you need to learn how to play chess…This video confirmed it as I didn’t realise chess rules were applied to solving some sudoku puzzles…Thank you, Jim..this nerd is happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to enjoy playing chess when I was in high school, but it’s been a long time since I played. That was quite the challenging Sudoku, but so much fun to watch him solve it.
      Glad you enjoyed the post, Carol!


      1. You are not alone there , Jim…I could do with a rocket strategically placed at times…Now to learn how to play chess and solve my sudoku puzzles using a little more logic …

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, Jim. I enjoyed both videos. I very nearly didn’t watch the Sudoku one – simply because of it’s length but I was totally hooked. That guy, and that puzzle are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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