According to Guinness World Records, the fastest time to complete a “Very Easy” difficulty Sudoku puzzle was 1 minute 23.93 seconds. The record was set on May 20, 2006 by Thomas Snyder, an American Sudoku champion.
How does Thomas Snyder solve Sudoku puzzles so fast, and how can you solve Sudoku puzzles faster?
Thomas Snyder has been interviewed saying that he thinks through the puzzle with an analytical mind and a series of routines, starting from the ground up. Thomas Snyder’s “day job” when he’s not competing in Sudoku tournament is as a biomechanics research scientist, and he brings this same methodical “scientific” thought process to the game of Sudoku.
When you solve Sudoku puzzles, try to choose a methodical approach that can be repeated from one Sudoku puzzle to the next – for example, start with squares, rows or columns; look for a square (or row or column) that has a certain number of spaces already filled; or start at the top and work your way to the bottom.
Practice Playing Sudoku Daily
Thomas Snyder uses Sudoku puzzles as a way to “warm up” his brain in the mornings before work. In the same way, if you practice Sudoku every day, you’ll be more likely to pick up the good habits of puzzle solving and get faster at completing Sudoku grids.
Constant practice gives your brain an ease and comfort level and gives you a sense of repetition. The more you do something, the easier it becomes; the more time you’ve spent staring at Sudoku grids, the better you will get at spotting opportunities and filling in the blank spaces.
Remember that Sudoku is not your “job” – if it ever stops being fun, just take a break. Get up and go for a walk, have a snack, and come back to the puzzle with fresh eyes. The more you can do to make yourself feel comfortable and just have fun with the simple act of playing Sudoku, the more likely you’ll be to solve Sudoku puzzles faster. Sudoku is a game, after all. Approach it with a spirit of play and a sense of whimsy, and you’ll be better able to get through the grid in the shortest amount of time.