A Decent Proposal
It's hard to find the right words to propose marriage to someone – especially if you're more of a numbers person. But for one puzzle enthusiast the solution came to him in the form of a sudoku puzzle.
Three times World Puzzle Championship winner and part-time puzzle designer Thomas Snyder has told the story of how, recently, he was asked by a puzzle fan for help in creating a rather original proposal of marriage. Alexis and his girlfriend, Jenny, have always shared a love of logic puzzles, so Alexis thought it only appropriate he should ask her to marry him… with a puzzle.
The result, expertly put together by Thomas Snyder, was a two-page insert for a puzzle book belonging to Jenny. The first page featured a diamond-ring-shaped sudoku, where letters replaced numbers and the starter letters in the grid spelled out 'WILL YOU'. On the opposite page was a giant heart-shaped sudoku where the letters A, E, J, M, N, R, S, Y and the symbol ? needed to be placed in each row and 3×3 block. Again the starter digits spelled out a message: 'MARRY ME JENNY?' But this time there was a twist; at the bottom of the puzzle there were three shaded, empty cells waiting to be filled in to complete the puzzle.
'Jenny – through either careful, logical thinking or by following her heart – would know the right answer to put in,' explains Thomas Snyder. Note the 'snide' distinction between logical thinking and heart-felt decisions.
Luckily Jenny's reply was 'YES', or that really would have messed up the puzzle. While Alexis went away happily to break the news to family and friends, Jenny then had the bonus of two fun puzzles to scribble her way through; now that's a perfect proposal (for them).