Written by Monkey Woods
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Topics: Japan, Sudoku

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

image for Sudoku Man Dies After Failing To Complete Fiendishly Difficult Puzzle

News just in from Japan about a man who has died attempting to complete a Sudoku grid, highlights the determination and intensity with which the people in that part of the world endeavour to play the tricky number puzzle game.

Tushuro Hakamoto, a former World War II Kamikaze pilot, was, according to his wife, "a Sudoku addict", and a well-known expert at solving the infuriatingly-infuriating puzzles.

On Friday, however, Tushuro came up against a difficult grid from which there was to be no escape; a game with a difficulty level so intensely-high, that it would ultimately cost him his life.

The puzzle, in Friday's Tokyo Morning Herald, was designated 'Fiendish' status, and had only seven squares completed at the start of the game.

Mr Hakamoto pored over the grid all weekend, completing thirteen more squares as he laboured away without food or drink for more than 72 hours. When Mrs Hakamoto looked in on him in their living room at around 3am Monday on morning, he dismissed her with a wave of his hand, but only hours later, when she took him a bowl of noodles, the Japanese Sudoku king had expired in his chair, still holding his pencil.

The cause of death, like the puzzle's solution, is, as yet, unknown.

Through an interpretor, his grieving widow told us:

"He approached his Sudoku games in the same fearless way he did his flying - emerge victorious, or die trying!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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