An 11-year-old girl has been described as a “sudoku master” by her family because she is so good at solving the puzzles she now creates her own.
Sophie Merritt’s skill for solving the brain-teasing number problems is even more impressive as she only found out about the puzzle two months ago.
The Year 7 pupil from Ladeside Primary School in Larbert, Stirlingshire, said it was her teacher who introduced her to her now favourite hobby.
“It was just before Christmas when my teacher Mrs Barber brought in a sudoku book for the class,” she said.
“I completed it and then started making up puzzles of my own,” said Sophie.
“My friends Orla and Taylor enjoy sudoku too, but I really enjoy maths and I like problem solving – when I’m creating the puzzles I like figuring out where the numbers will go.
“When I completed a puzzle quickly my teacher would say I don’t know how you do it.”
Sudoku now plays a major part in Sophie’s life, which was already busy with sport and other hobbies.
“I bought a sudoku book from the supermarket and I sit doing puzzles in the living room while everyone watches television,” she said.
“I even sit doing them in bed before I go to sleep.”
Sophie’s dad Jason and mother Jane Merritt are amazed at their daughter’s numerical skills.
And Sophie says she is enjoying the new challenge of creating the puzzles to then later complete them.
“It’s hard, but I’m thinking about making a sudoku puzzle book and selling it to raise money for Strathcarron Hospice, because they helped my granddad Jim before he died,” she added.