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How to Create Your Own Sudoku Puzzle

Aug 17, 2007
If you are a sudoku fan, you will probably already have lots of experiencing of solving puzzles and know about how the game works. Creating your own sudoku puzzles is fairly straightforward and it can be fun to see other people pitting their wits against your creations!

Try to have between 28 and 30 squares filled in, leaving the rest blank. The first thing to do is to create the solution so you know which numbers go where and then remove some of the numbers to give you 28 to 30 filled squares.

If you want to create a symmetrical puzzle (it looks better, like a crossword grid, but is not compulsory), you must make sure you remove mirror pairs. For example if you remove the number second in on the left on the very top line, you need to remove the number second in from the right on the very bottom line.

Once you have prepared your puzzle, you need to test it to make sure there is only one possible outcome (and to make sure it is solvable!) If there is more than one single solution, it is an invalid puzzle and you need to start again from scratch.

When you have created your masterpiece, you might wish to assign it a grade, depending on its level of difficulty. An easy sudoku puzzle tends to be simple to do and feature only singles and naked singles (meaning you can work out what goes where by process of elimination fairly quickly). Hidden singles mean that if you pencil in what can potentially go into which square, you might find there is only one, for example, which can contain an 8. Therefore, the 8 must go there. If your puzzle contains hidden pairs, you might want to grade it medium. If you have 4 blank squares left in a row, 2 of which could be either 3 or 5 and the others could be 3, 5, 7 or 9, then you know the ones able to contain only 3 or 5 are the ones which are going to contain them, so you can eliminate 3 and 5 from the two other boxes in that row. Harder puzzles might have triples and quads like this, and also fewer numbers shown to begin with.

You could try to design your own game another way, which is to put in, say, the 1s then the 2s and so on. Every time you input one number, you need to make sure the box, row and line is clear of duplicates, so there is only one 4 or one 5 in each box, row or line. Creating the solution first tends to be simpler but you could try either way.

Making your own puzzles might sound difficult but it is a great deal of fun. You could create them and swap with your friends but make sure you try your own out on yourself first to check they work!
About the Author
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