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Sudoku Black Belt: Solve Sudoku With Ease

Aug 17, 2007
Sudoku has recently taken the world by storm and now it is known as one of the most addictive games, ideal for keeping the mind sharp! When faced with your first sudoku puzzle, it can be a bit daunting to see a mostly blank grid with a few numbers dotted about but sudoku is easy and satisfying if you have some idea of how to solve the puzzles.

First of all, a sudoku grid is usually 9 by 9 squares or, to break it down, 9 large boxes of 9 small squares each. Each number from 1 to 9 must feature once only in each box and once in each line.

Take the top 3 rows of a sudoku grid. Say the first line and second line both have a number 4 in. You know the last number 4 has to go in the bottom line. Sometimes there is more than one place a number could go so you have to apply logic to work out where it does go. It is best to begin with easy sudoku puzzles until you get the hang of them and progress to medium and hard ones.

One way of doing sudoku, although not everyone uses this approach, is to lightly pencil in possible numbers in the corner of each square, so when one is ruled out as having another number belong there, you know for sure that it goes in the other box.

If you have only a couple of cells left in a row or box, it is worth checking to see if you can fill one (then it is obvious what goes into the other square) by seeing which number has to fit there.

If you have a row or column with 8 numbers filled in, you know what the missing number has to be, since the numbers 1 to 9 must appear once each in each row, column and box. Filling this in might give you other clues to what other squares might be.

If you get stuck, I suggest going through the whole grid and putting possible numbers lightly in pencil in each square until you come up with something. If you have a row with 3 squares free and the first could be 2 or 4, the second could be 4 only and the third could be 2 or 5, you can work out from that that the second square has to be 4 (since it is the only one that fits), the first box must be 2 (since 4 has been taken) which leaves 5 to go in the third box. This is a logical yet simple approach.

As you play more sudoku, you will come up with your own way of playing and your preferred method, whether it is more to do with elimination or logic or a mixture of both techniques, depending on the skill level of the sudoku game you are playing and what works best for you.
About the Author
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