A 15-YEAR-OLD sudoku whizz beat thousands to win the UK junior title for the second year running.
Lizzy Rhodes, from Magor, was ranked the 12th best player in the country, beating off many adults as well in The Times’ annual championships.
The schoolgirl is able to complete the taxing maths challenges in as little as three minutes and was named under-16 winner.
After thousands of people entered, the top 100 people of all ages were invited to the finals at the News International headquarters in London – with just two under-16s making the cut.
Lizzy, who lives with dad Jonathan and has an older sister Sarah, 20, said she has no special techniques, with the answers just coming to her as she studies the grids.
She said: “I was about seven when they first appeared in The Times and I just enjoyed doing them. I don’t really use a technique, I just look and the combinations come to me and I can do some in three or four minutes.”
Lizzy’s remarkable achievement is something she managed last year as well when, as a 14-year-old, she was crowned best under-16 and came 15th overall.
The Monmouth School for Girls pupil was first introduced to the puzzle by mum Diane in 2004 when The Times started running them.
The logic-based challenges feature nine grids and you have to fit the numbers one to nine into each using combinations.
Lizzy said she enjoys doing the puzzles to relax and while she hasn’t decided yet, she will probably study maths at A-level because of her numbers ability.
For winning the best under- 16 award last year, she received a package of books and is eagerly awaiting the prize for this year’s competition to arrive in the post.