www.sudokuscore.com - Stealth Sudoku Success Story
Sue Bohannon: DMD at Temple University School of Dentistry - Stealth Score: 636 !!
Sue Bohannon wrote:
Sue Bohannon's Story
I was introduced to Sudoku last November. In the beginning I would write down all the different options, but then once I got the hang of them, I only put in an answer when I could knew for sure what it was. It became a lot faster to look for definite answers instead of options.
It's hard to say what are helpful hints or memory tricks. For normal sudoku, I usually start by filling in any obvious rows/columns/squares that only need a couple of numbers. Then I go through number sets, like looking for all the 1s that I can figure out, then 2s and so on. Once I have done all the numbers then I look for the obvious things again like if there's a row/column/square of 7 filled in numbers. Figuring out if I can I deduce what they have to be from other places that are now filled in. Then I may go through the numbers again and see if anything I've filled in has made something else an obvious answer.
Another strategy is to indicate any places that I know have to be only 2 possible options for an number and make a note of it. Like a square that is completely empty but I know only a 5 can be in two places in that square. Sometimes, if that's in a row then I will know that the 5s in connecting squares can't be in that row and that might make an obvious answer in another square. Then I'll go around and see if there's any more of those numbers I can fill in now in all the squares. And then later, if one of those original 2 spots gets filled in with another number then I know what that the other box is that original number.
Another strategy is if there are 3 boxes left in a square, sometimes the same two numbers will only be possible for the same two boxes, leaving the odd box that will be the other third number -- even if that third number could have been possible for all three boxes.
I don't know if I'm explaining this very well. This all seems pretty basic and logical, but maybe it'll help someone. I mean I didn't start out doing these strategies but I solve them pretty fast now.
Another observation I've had is that some people with run through any possible combination if the puzzle is the type that becomes colored if the correct 9 are placed. These people are basically guessing because they feel stuck. I have a friend that does this. I think they are only hurting themselves in the long run. There is always a logical answer that can be filled in somewhere and taking the easy way out, to give you a few more numbers on the board, stops your logic building skills. I know your site doesn't do this "coloring" when a complete 9 gets filled in, but I know a few sites that do. Your site is pretty good and different from other ones that I've used because you not only time us, you requires us to only place a correct answer or the clock stops. I think this is good because sometimes people can be a little sloppy and this keeps you sharp.
Now, I don't believe any of these things are "memory secrets." They are just how I solve the puzzles. I know for your site with the blacked out answers, I only fill in same number (all the 4s for example) in all squares ONLY if I can fill in ALL of them. If there is somewhere where I can't figure out some of the numbers, I will skip that number all together. If filling in some boxes for ALL the numbers requires me to remember what I'm filling in in other squares for my same number sequence, I will run through the logic sequence or pattern of what I'm about to do a couple of times mentally before I do it. The real trick seems to additionally remember what complete number sets I've already done. That gets even trickier when I've done your puzzle a couple of times. I think with time anyone should get stronger solving these particular type of sudoku puzzles the more they try and solve them. I'm sorry I don't have any real memory secrets, I've only discovered your site recently and this is how I solve them. It's definitely a challenge! Great spin, though!
I think everyone should be warned that sudoku is very addicting. I now drift off to sleep solving imaginary "sudoku" puzzles in my head like I used to do when I was a kid and played tetris a lot. Very strange.
On a personal note, I now enjoy starting out the morning with a cup of coffee and a couple of on-line sudoku puzzles. I think it helps to get my brain working before I head off to my 8 o'clock class. I also take study breaks and do a couple sudoku's and it seems to help my school work by using a little different part of my brain. Good luck with your site. Feel free to take whatever you think might be helpful to visitors to your site.
Sincerely, Sue Bohannon
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