Simple Sudoku Solving Guide: Introduction

There are many algorithms available for a computer programmer to solve a Sudoku.

Just google it some time and I’m sure you will find an abundance of resources.

Some algorithms take a very long time to solve a Sudoku and others will have an answer within milliseconds. It all depends on the approach.

The same can be said about people who solve Sudokus. Some people can solve a Sudoku very quickly while others find it hard to even solve the lowest grade Sudoku available. It’s all about insight and pattern spotting.

While I was pregnant with Brianne I spent quite a bit of time relaxing in bed solving Sudokus. What I noticed mainly was that anything above a 9 star Sudoku I could not solve without some element of guessing. Sudokus have grades, most Sudoku’s in a newspaper are around 5 stars.

Now I’m not one to guess and backtrack, like many quick computer algorithms for solving Sudokus do – just check out my simple sudoku solver.

When I am solving a Sudoku, I like to find the logic behind the solution. I wanted to know exactly how you could solve a Sudoku without having to guess.

So I started looking into pattern recognition in Sudokus. There are some great sites available. The best two that have become a great reference for me are:

– http://www.sudocue.net/guide.php – a very good site with a great explanation of a lot of the patterns found in 9 star + Sudokus.
– http://sudokuwiki.org/, by Andrew Stuart, an even better site, which allows you to enter a Sudoku that you can not find a solution too and it will tell you the next pattern that will help you solve it.

I actually wanted to create a “next step” Sudoku Solver, but as Andrew Stuart has done an amazing job of creating a great Sudoku Solver already… reinventing the wheel is not a hobby of mine. I decided not to venture into it.

What I do however miss in all the Sudoku information out there is THE way to start solving a Sudoku. With all the Sudokus I have solved, I noticed I kept following a set pattern and that pattern ensured that I can even solve 12 star Sudokus. With this blog I would like to start to share my simple sudoku solving technique.

In my opinion there is one golden rule to make a Sudoku real: that the Sudoku can only have one solution. There is some dispute on this matter in the Sudoku community – but I am sticking to my opinion – a Sudoku is only a real Sudoku if there is only one solution. This Simple Sudoku Solving Guide uses patterns that expect it that way.

To be able to start solving Sudoku’s using this Simple Sudoku Solving Guide, you will first need to learn the patterns that are listed in the guide. See the above sites!

For any Sudoku at newspaper level you will probably never get further than the first part of finalizing the solution.

With that in mind here is a link to my guide (or algorithm or pattern) for solving any Sudoku:

Simple Sudoku Solving Guide

For any further questions or explanations on the above steps, please write me an e-mail or leave a comment below and I will update this blog accordingly.

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