Some people claim that all men suffer from some degree of autism. If that is the case, they don’t suffer from it at all, do they? It’s like saying they suffer from blue eyes. It’s a natural state of affairs, not an abnormal condition.

However, it is true that possessors of a y chromosome can be a bit obsessional; we tend to like numbers, for example. I’m pretty good at mental arithmetic, to give just one instance. But I stray into nerdiness when it comes to Sudoku.

I pretty much have to have a daily fix of this. I refuse to buy a paper on Sundays, since I won’t pay £2-50 for a load of supplements in which I have absolutely no interest, so it’s the Sudoku maid’s day off as well as my blog maid’s day off, and the Sudoku withdrawal is much worse.

I must now make a confession. The other days of the week I turn into a petty thief. I steal the Times 2 section from The Times in my local library. Nobody reads it anyway (it’s always pristine when I get my grubby mitts on it), so I don’t feel too bad about my larceny. And it has three puzzles in it, of differing levels of difficulty.

I’m rubbish at the easy ones. Completely cack. I tend to rush them and cock them up. But when it gets to the Difficult level, I’m good to go. Then there’s the Fiendish level, which can be a sod, and the ultimate challenge, Super Fiendish. This is the level they use for the Sudoku World Championships, the annual international übernerdfest.

I generally can finish this, but not as quickly as the competitors can do it. I’m the tortoise to their collective hares, but I do get there.

There’s an interesting aspect to this. A lot of people balk at Sudoku and say they’re rubbish at maths. But it’s not about maths, it’s about logic. You only need to be able to count to 9, and everybody can do that. Well, apart from the lamebrain yoofs who make my life a sodding misery in the library.

Here’s the weird thing. I can do the numerical Sudoku puzzles pretty well, though I do have occasional brain fade. But there’s a letter version as well, using the letters A to I. I find it completely beyond me.

By the way, it’s not only blokes who are nerds. There’s been at least one female world champ, and a female friend of mine is a big fan too.

Advertisements