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Sudoku Puzzles - Solving Primer

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Games

Everywhere you go you see people working on Sudoku Puzzles.

Soduko Puzzles can be found in newspapers, magazines and sudoku puzzle books that are sold all over the place. It seems that everyone has become crazed with solving these challenging puzzles. If you are new to them or if you're already a puzzle solver but need a little help as you search for the right solutions these three strategies may give you the guidance you are seeking, grasshopper.

The ever popular and mentally challenging sudoku puzzles are ranked by difficulty. Many times people confuse a sudoku puzzle's difficulty with the number of given clues. Surprisingly, the number of givens has very little bearing on the level of difficulty.

A sudoku puzzle with greater than an average number of given clues can still be very hard to solve. Here are a few suggestions to help you successfully complete your next sudoku puzzle.

There are three processes that you should use when solving a sodoku puzzle. The first sudoku solving strategy is simple. You should first scan the rows, columns and regions. When scanning these three categories look for missing numbers to fill in by the process of elimination. Stop scanning when no more numbers can be found. This will help you before you even start. After this step you have to turn to some logical thinking to solve the puzzle.

The second thing to consider when solving sodoku puzzles is marking up possible numbers in the blank cells. The two popular methods of marking are using subscripts or dots. In the subscript notation the possible numbers are written in subscript within the cells. The second notation is a series of dots. With a dot in the top left hand corner representing a 1 and a dot in the bottom right hand corner representing a 9.

Some people use a technique that marks up the numbers that are not possible for a cell to have.

The third suggestion comes down to analyzing. It is in this step that you can eliminate possible numbers and make "what if" predictions. Progress can be evaluated by successively eliminating possible numbers from one or more cells to leave only one choice. Once you achieve each answer, perform your scanning process again.

As a sudoku puzzle enthusiast you must use your mind, stretch your brain, so to speak, but a little help never hurt so try to use these three helpful hints.

A sudoku puzzle, no matter what the difficulty level, can be made just a little easier by performing these three steps.

1. Scan the rows, columns and regions
2. Mark up the suspected candidate numbers.
3. Analyze the "what if" predications.

All of these hints combined together can make your next sudoku puzzle more enjoyable and a little easier to solve. Everyone needs help from time to time so remember these three suggestions when you sit down to solve your next challenging but rewarding sudoku puzzle.