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How to Beat Your Son in Sudoku with Style

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/1/2007 |

Even if your son is a mathematical whiz kid, you can still beat him at Sudoku. Many people think that because it's a game with numbers that you need math or some special inborn skill to win consistently. You don't. Here are a couple tricks to help you beat your son at Sudoku with style.

Once you have taken stock of your empty spaces and homeless numbers and are properly overwhelmed, try a technique called slicing the puzzle. Here, you will look at a column or row of puzzles and place as many numbers as possible. In other words, you will be trying to place all the 1s before you move on to the 2s, etc. You don't necessarily need to start with 1, but many people do just because they feel more organized.

When you do this, only use a pencil to lightly write the number. If one doesn't fit you will be able to erase it without anyone noticing, and that's key--if they didn't notice you, you didn't do it. Once you have all your numbers in, start checking and correcting. Some people swear by this method and some swear at it, so try it out a few times before you use it.

Remember that this is a short article on beating your son at Sudoku with style. Now this doesn't mean to add flourishes to the curly parts of your 2s. It means, "Do what you gotta do to win!" So here are some style suggestions:

The, "Wow!" method is a favorite of parents worldwide. It involves locating something novel that is age-appropriate--such as a nice, new yellow toy dump truck for young boys, maybe a girl in a skirt for the older ones--and pointing to it with a "Wow!" The attention they give the truck/skirt/whatever will give you a few seconds lead-time.

The second favorite is the cookie method. This actually works for any type of sugary treats. What you do is purchase plenty of these ahead of time (or if you really want to make in impact, bake them), and set them on the table where you will hold the contest. Then tell him, "Remember not to touch the snacks--they are for a little get together later." Then put him right in front of them. For added impact, offer him a glass of milk to go with the treats he can't have.

Happy Sudoku!