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A former investment banker has become an unlikely sensation on YouTube posting videos of him completing tricky Sudoku puzzles.

Simon Anthony, 46, decided to take a risk and quit his job at a London investment bank to solve sudoku puzzles on YouTube.

The first webcam videos of him solving Sudoku puzzles from his spare bedroom in Reigate, Surrey have been seen around 100.

But three years after the channel launched, Anthony went viral with Cracking the Cryptic.

Simon Anthony, 46, from Reigate, Surrey, quit his job at a London investment bank to solve sudoku puzzles on YouTube and became a sensation with over 210,000 subscribers

The channel, which Simon (pictured) claims to be YouTube's most popular sudoku channel, has over 210,000 subscribers and has nearly 30 million views.

The channel, which Simon (pictured) claims to be YouTube’s most popular sudoku channel, has over 210,000 subscribers and has nearly 30 million views.

Simon runs the Youtube channel with his friend Mark Goodliffe, 53, from Gloucestershire, and has hundreds of thousands hooked during the coronavirus lockdown.

“We get a lot of emails saying that we are helping people with their mental health,” he told Guardian. “There seems to be some sort of ASMR-like quality in the videos.”

The channel, which the pair say is YouTube’s most popular sudoku channel, has more than 210,000 subscribers and has nearly 30 million views.

The pair post two low-fi videos each day, each lasting around half an hour.

Each video has the same format, with Simon or Mark appearing in the lower corner with the puzzle in the center of the scene.

Viewers unexpectedly found themselves hooked up to watching Simon and Mark solve the difficult puzzle.

Simon’s voiceovers show his true love for puzzle solving, throwing classic British phrases such as “oh my god me” in his glee as he beats sudoku.

Simon runs the YouTube channel with his friend Mark Goodliffe, 53, from Gloucestershire, and has hundreds of thousands hooked during the coronavirus lockdown

Simon runs the YouTube channel with his friend Mark Goodliffe, 53, from Gloucestershire, and has hundreds of thousands hooked during the coronavirus lockdown

Simon runs the YouTube channel with his friend Mark Goodliffe, 53, from Gloucestershire, (pictured) and they have people hooked up during the coronavirus lockdown

Simon runs the YouTube channel with his friend Mark Goodliffe, 53, from Gloucestershire (pictured) and they have people hooked up during the coronavirus lockdown

Simon and Mark met at a crossword championship 20 years ago, when puzzle was just a sport of paper and pen, but now the pair can reach large audiences without leaving their homes.

Mark is the reigning Times crossword champion and reigning UK Sudoku champion and Simon was a former member of the UK team at the World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships.

Simon said the fame was “surreal” and the two have now launched four apps and a line of products.

Simon, a father of two, does not regret leaving his job. He said: ‘I only did this for one reason and was constantly aware that I was working my youth.

His income is still lower than it used to be, but is increasing rapidly as he gains popularity during the lockdown.

His videos are viewed by 10,000 to 3.4 million people, with America accounting for 27% of Simon’s audience.

The pair post two videos each day and each video is roughly half an hour long, with viewers on the edge of their seats as Simon or Mark solve nearly impossible puzzles.

The pair post two videos each day and each video is roughly half an hour long, with viewers on the edge of their seats as Simon or Mark solve nearly impossible puzzles.

One of Simon’s biggest fans is James Charles, the 20-year-old millionaire makeup artist with 5.5 million Twitter followers and 19 million YouTube subscribers.

He told his fans on Twitter, “I’ve officially unlocked a new level of boredom … watching videos of a man solving sudoku puzzles.

“The videos are SO interesting but also help me relax! “

Other famous Cracking the Cryptic fans include author Simon Singh and Rachel Riley from Countdown.

Simon slowly and clearly explains difficult puzzles to viewers, but also manages to impress people with how quickly he understands math.

In his May 22 video, Solve for X Sudoku, Simon baffles fans at the end of the video, when he fills in the remaining numbers in a matter of minutes.

Cracking the Cryptic launched four apps and a line of products following its success

Cracking the Cryptic has launched four applications and a line of products following its “surreal” success

America is home to 27% of Simon's audience.  Fans are addicted to Simon's humble voiceovers and his videos have numbers ranging from 10,000 to 3.4 million

America is home to 27% of Simon’s audience. Fans are addicted to Simon’s humble voiceovers, and his videos have numbers ranging from 10,000 to 3.4 million

He makes a small mistake as his fingers move quickly to fill in the gaps, but he immediately realizes it and changes his numbers, the puzzle not proving to be up to him.

Simon says at the end of the video, “Check it out, and here’s how to solve another beautiful Prowling Tiger puzzle!” Not easy, not easy.

“I was a little slow towards the end, but was quite happy to find x as quickly as I did.”

Simon reads all the comments for every video he posts and says he gets a lot of pleasure from his fans’ reactions.

One fan said in the comments section: “I’ve watched these videos so much that every time I do a puzzle on my own my thought process is in Simon’s voice. It’s the opposite of a problem.

Cracking the Cryptic apps have many different types of Sudoku puzzles for you to try, including Classic Sudoku which has a total of 65 puzzles.

Their other apps are called Sandwich Sudoku, Chess Sudoku, and Thermo Sudoku and provide fans with new challenges to improve their puzzle solving skills.

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