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Thread: Sudoku

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I love math and puzzles, but this number puzzle is puzzling me! Is there a system to solving them or is it just a whole mess of trial and error?

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    what the heck is that?

    aaaaaaaa!!!! i just went to the website. i want to run away... fast. (my mind is lazy at times and i have the attention span of a 5 year old sometimes...)

    BTW... nerd!! (yes, i called you a nerd- now go do my homework. i have a physics test and a lab report.)

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    I LOVE sudokus!!

    And yes, there is a system to solving them. It's hard to explain without an actual puzzle in front of us where I can SHOW you, but I'll do my best.

    The basic rules are, each row, column, and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. So, what you want to do is process of elimination. If a blank square is in a row that already has a 7, then it can't be a 7. If its column has the numbers 1 through 6, then the only remaining numbers it could possibly be are 8 and 9. if there's already an 8 in its 3x3 square, bingo, it must be a 9!

    they take a little time to get the hang of them...but I guarantee if you love math and puzzles, you will LOVVVEEE sudoku!!
    -Emily

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    For a while I was writing a sudoku-solving algorithm for my math class, but I didn't have enough time to devote to it. A good primer on basic strategy can be found here. The idea behind my solution was to keep a table of which numbers remain unused in each row, column, and square. Such tabulations help eliminate a large amount of choices from consideration. I never figured out a good way to decide on which of the available choices was best, so you're on your own from there, but keeping tabs on unused numbers by itself seems to help noticably. (At least, for me it does.)
    ~Joe

    PS - Keep multiple copies of your solution as you work on it! Nothing slows sudoku-solving down like rewriting the whole grid.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    I wonder how sudokus are created.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ Mar. 29 2006,1:17)]For a while I was writing a sudoku-solving algorithm for my math class, but I didn't have enough time to devote to it. A good primer on basic strategy can be found here. The idea behind my solution was to keep a table of which numbers remain unused in each row, column, and square. Such tabulations help eliminate a large amount of choices from consideration. I never figured out a good way to decide on which of the available choices was best, so you're on your own from there, but keeping tabs on unused numbers by itself seems to help noticably. (At least, for me it does.)
    ~Joe

    PS - Keep multiple copies of your solution as you work on it! Nothing slows sudoku-solving down like rewriting the whole grid.
    I think there's an open source sudoku solver, but I can't remember. Anywho I do remember reading the math theory fundamentals of it though, and I think they can be found in the wikipedia.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Joe, thank you for the link. I added it to favorites.

    Emily, what I had been doing is pick one of the 3x3's and solved that. Then I would move to adjacent 3x3 and get that one solved, with respect to the first one. And them I'd move on from there. But then my luck would run out and I'd realize that I hadn't found the correct combination from the first grid.

    Theresa, (LOL!) thank you for the compliment! But I don't wear glasses and I thought all nerds do. Does that then make me a geek? I don't think I'm a dweeb. But I digress.. Hey, good luck with Physics! Just remember, E=mc2 and mgh and 1/2mv2 and pv=nrt!

    Does it matter where one starts - center, as opposed to the sides? Is there more than once correct solution or only one?

    I gave my 12 year old genius son (also autistic) a Sudoko puzzle book a couple weeks ago. He seemed mildly interested in it.

    Is anybody familiar with the 6 x 6 grid whereby you number the squares from 1-36 by using the Knight's move in chess?

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    yeah, committing to a square like that won't work...you have to keep in in context with the entire puzzle.

    A lot of the time there will be an easy place to start. If you have 3 3x3 squares in a row, for example, and the first two already have 7s in the middle and bottom rows respectively, and the third one has no 7 but only one blank space on its top row, then that space is a 7.

    and most of the time (99.9%) there is only one solution. though my stepdad and I managed to come up with 2 completely different solutions for the same puzzle once!
    -Emily

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