Sudoku puzzles can be tricky things to complete, especially if they are in the 'hard', or even 'fiendish' categories, so imagine the relief one man felt when he eventually finished off another version of the complicated Chinese game which, instead of the numbers 1 to 9, used the final nine letters of the alphabet as its characters!
Moys Kenwood, 56, started to do the puzzle, an Alphadoku, on August 22 this year, and had struggled with it ever since then, poring endlessly over it in his spare time, during his meals, on the way to the betting shop, even dreaming about it and waking up in the middle of the night with a moment of hoped-for inspiration, which usually turned out to be a false alarm.
"The difficulty lies in the fact that the characters are letters, not numbers," he said.
A breakthrough came on Sunday when, after returning to the puzzle after a 15-minute break for a cup of tea, he noticed that the 'Y' in the central 9-square box could be entered in the 'top right' position, and this opened up the way to discover that the 'T' in the middle row left 9-square box could occupy the central square.
From then on, it was child's play, and the other letters fell into place. over the next couple of days, the puzzle eventually being completed last night just after tea.
Kenwood is now going to take a well-deserved rest before he takes on another puzzle, possibly towards the end of winter.