Stop Guessing, Here Are The Best Sudoku Solving Strategies
Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle wherein you fill the missing digits with simple deductive reasoning and elimination techniques.
20:12 15 October 2020
No arithmetic and no guessing!
Every valid Sudoku puzzle that contains only one unique solution can be solved without guesswork. Only that Sudoku puzzle requires guessing, which is improper and may have multiple solutions.
Sudoku has only one rule: on a prefilled grid, place the missing numbers. Use digits 1 through 9 in every row, column, and box (3x3 sub-grid) without repeating them.
So simply put – you don’t need to guess to solve a Sudoku puzzle. Try these few techniques instead:
1. Single candidate
This is amongst the most straightforward strategies – examine the surrounding rows, columns, and boxes. Rule out the possibilities for a particular cell. There must only be one digit to fit in. Just put that number, and there you have it – the very first step to solving your Sudoku puzzle.
2. Hidden pair
When a pair appears precisely in two cells in a row, column, or box, it’s a hidden one. Also, these digits may not be the only ones in those cells.
3. Hidden triple
A hidden triple occurs when three cells in a row, column, or box consist of the same three numbers. These three cells may also contain other candidates.
Not every Sudoku puzzle has a Swordfish pattern. But you may run into this one in advanced levels. Such a pattern can be seen when three rows or columns consist of 2 – 3 cells with a matching locked candidate. However, the candidate must reside in and share each of these rows and columns.
Jellyfish, in reality, is just an expanded form of Swordfish working with four rows or columns. Plus, it’s a strategy that’ll keep you scratching your heads. Such a pattern may be present when a candidate is confined to four rows in four selected columns and vice versa.
So there you have it!
These techniques can certainly not solve all Sudoku puzzles. But you’ll eventually get the hang of recognizing the patterns and knowing the tricks that best work for you. Our aim is to let you know that guessing may be applicable in an instance or two. But solving Sudoku puzzles in real sense will demand you to apply these (and more) techniques to get through a level.
Challenge yourself today and let us know in the comments if these tricks work for you.