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Puzzle 249: Crowd Nine 5

While touring a local bookstore, I encountered a magazine titled Sudoku Mania, which bills itself as the "Official Publication of the International Sudoku Authority". The cover of said magazine, however, causes me to doubt both the authority and the existence of the ISA -- I mean, whoever designed the cover must have been really blind or really ignorant of the rules of Sudoku to allow three 9's in one 3x3 box. (I ended up buying a crossword magazine instead.) I hope to get this cover posted on Failblog -- it's just too terrible not to!

The puzzle below has a (legal) trio of 9's in the upper right as a homage to the aforementioned magazine. It also serves as a tribute to all the people in the United Kingdom, for whom 999 is their emergency number; additionally, it references Minesweeper: The Movie ("That clock is gonna keep ticking until it reaches 999!" "What happens then?" "Nothing! You just suck!"). As for the 249 in the lower left. . . that has no significance at all. Definitely none.

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