Sudoku

This Sudoku Solve Made Me Cry

'The Miracle' isn't just a puzzle, it is high art.

by Jason Koebler
23 May 2020, 10:00am

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

I do not know much about Sudoku other than the general rules of it. When I was a teenager I completed maybe three of the "very easy" ones from a book while I was on a bus ride or a flight. I am not particularly predisposed to see the beauty or art in the construction or solving of a puzzle. I have seen artistic masterpieces, which I find mesmerizing and nice to look at but rarely make me feel emotional. Perhaps it's the times we're living in, a rough last few weeks, or the fact I stumbled across this video while aimlessly scrolling YouTube videos about Call of Duty at 4 in the morning because I couldn't sleep, but this viral Sudoku puzzle pushed me over the edge.

"The Miracle," constructed by Mitchell Lee and solved by Simon Anthony on YouTube, consists of just two prefilled numbers and a host of highly constrictive rules:

1589975375665-Screen-Shot-2020-05-20-at-74921-AM

Upon seeing the puzzle, Anthony says something to the effect of "you've got to be kidding me" and "you've got to be joking" approximately 25 times, tells the camera this is a cruel joke, and that it can't possibly be human solvable. What follows is a riveting 25 minutes of solving. As Anthony slowly unwinds the puzzle's secrets, his frustration with the puzzle gives way to awe, joy, and utter disbelief. I felt that what I was watching was utterly human. Art at its best. "I don't have adjectives to describe it," Anthony said. Neither do I. Reader, I wept.