A couple of decades after Space Invaders conquered the world, another Japanese craze is sweeping all before it. Open any newspaper or magazine, and before long you’ll find a Sudoku puzzle, often filling the space where the old-fashioned crossword used to be.
But it’s not just the newspapers - even a visit to the pub is no longer sacred, as Japanese beer Asahi has launched the Asahi Pure Logic Sudoku Championship, with entry forms being distributed through pubs and bars across the UK on puzzle cards, posters and beermats.
The company has signed up Sudoku expert Michael Mepham to launch the championship, to be held in London in February. The star prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan.
The Diary is sure it isn’t alone in going to the pub to get into a state where it would barely be able to count to nine, never mind arrange a load of numbers into a nice, tidy grid. And pity the poor devil who has to mark the stained, crusty beermats.
With this in mind, the Diary is glad to point number crunchers to www. asahibeer.co.uk/sudoku, where they can enter the competition in a more 21st-century manner.