I've looked at the guy's work when it was reported elsewhere. It's not that huge of a deal.
The problem that was shown to be NP-Complete is not "how do I solve this mine-sweeper layout", but "Is there a solution to this mine-sweeper layout".
If you look at a mine-sweeper layout, you sometimes see conditions where you have to say "A mine must be at one of these two locations, but not both", and would just have to guess which is right in order to solve the puzzle. The puzzle is consistant with either solution. On the otherhand, if you look at a mine-sweeper layout, and say "This configuration forces a mine to be here, but that would mean that that square labeled "3" would have 4 mines next to it, which is impossible", then the puzzle is not consistant with any solution.
Basically, he discovered layouts that act as wires (if there is a mine here, then -way- over there, there must be a mine, and vice versa), inverters (if there is a mine here, then -way- over there, there must NOT be a mine, and vice versa), conjunctions (all of these locations must be mined), and disjunctions (at least one of these locations must be mined).
Using these layouts, you can convert any problem in SAT (a known NP-complete problem) into a mine-sweeper layout, such that the layout is consistant if and only if the SAT problem can be satisfied.
But knowing how to solve minesweeper is not going to help.
Perl patter matching is also NP-Complete, but you don't hear anyone saying what an advance that is, do you?