Tips on How to Solve a Sudoku Puzzle
It’s one of the best games for travel and it’s so fun!
Sukodu has become a popular Americanized game over the past decade. It’s popular with travelers, elderly and even the smartest of kids. How many of us know the true history of this number game? For instance, it goes back to the 1780s in Switzerland when a mathematician, Leonhard Eiler, first made the game and titled it “Latin squares.” His theory was that there shouldn’t be any numbers repeating themselves in any row or any square. Then, Howard Garnes from Indianapolis, gave Latin Squares the new name of Sudoku. He is also credited by officially coming up with the rule of not repeating numbers in columns.
Tips on Solving Sodoku
1) Easy, Medium, Hard.
First, remember that there are easy, medium and hard sodoku puzzles. Gradually the level of difficulty increases, but if you have good solving skills, it won’t be so hard. The one below is one I would consider “easy.” It offers you many numbers in each box, and each puzzle you do will have fewer numbers.
2) Solving Sodoku.
I’m sure everyone has their own method of solving this number puzzle. I’ll give you my techniques and you’ll be off to a great start. First, let’s take the top three squares. There’s a “2″ in each row, you can eliminate that as one you have to fill in. In the square below it, there is a “2″ in the top row so the two is the middle row/far left box can’t go in the following places(in that box): on either side of the 5 (because there is a two in that row,) or in the two boxes below. The remaining two boxes (1 is under the 5 and the other is under the could hold the “2.” Do you follow?
Another technique is this: You’re only using numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Count in your head to figure out which ones you need. For instance, in the far left row (6/8/2/_/_/_/9/1/5), you are missing 3, 4 and 7. You already have a 7 in the first bottom box, 3rd row over. This eliminates the boxes above and below the 8. Next, you have a 7 in the center row. This eliminates the boxes to the far left and center of 8. The 7 should be placed by either the 1 or the 5. Sometimes what I do is put a pencil marker of the number in the box until I find it, so each of those boxes I would label “5 7″ in pencil.
Third, always try to scan your rows for numbers. It can be confusing, but you may think numbers go when they go somewhere else. For example, let’s look at the far right row now, the three boxes going down? What do you see? The first thing that I spot are the 9’s. You have a 9 on the far right in your first box, a 9 on the far left in your bottom box, and only one possible choice for a 9 in the center box. The second thing I see are the 7’s. You can’t put a 7 under the 2 in your top box because there is a 7 in the center row, but it goes in the bottom box.
Next, hidden singles are the most common number you’ll place in the puzzle. These are single numbers that have only one home, such as the 9 we just placed in the puzzle. They make solving the sodoku so much easier, but be warned: they may also come in doubles, triples, or quads. The higher level of difficulty of the puzzle, then the more you will see these combinations.
Finally, if you get stuck in your puzzle, retrace your steps. Look at every square and every row to make sure they don’t repeat. Remember, you’re only using numbers 1-9 so if you have 2 4’s in a row, then you misplaced one. I do this when I go too fast through the puzzle. Some mistakes are easy to fix, but others can go back to the beginning.
3) Here should be your completed puzzle!
I’ll admit, it was hard for even me. It’s been since last summer that I did one, though. Good luck!