Alternative Strategies and Sudoku Variations
- What is Sudoku? - Page 1
- Sudoku Terminology - Page 2
- Beginner and Intermediate Strategies - Page 3
- Medium Sudoku Techniques - Page 4
- Advanced Techniques - X-Wing and Swordfish - Page 5
- Alternative Strategies and Sudoku Variations - Page 6
When things just aren’t falling into place like they should, you have one last resort, and that is Guessing. Now there is some debate about whether ‘guessing’ is a legitimate tactic or not. Some would say guessing is not logical and should not be done under any circumstances.
But the reality is that certain accepted techniques use their own elements of guessing, including Forcing Chains and Nishio, which test out the viable of certain candidates by guessing at a number, and then following it through to see the domino-like effect and results using that number would have, and whether it ends in a possibly sound result. This is really no different than any other form of logical guessing.
So while throwing down random numbers and just hoping for the best should never be used, even as a last resort, that doesn’t mean that other practices considered guessing should not be. They are logical guesses at the very least, and that’s what Sudoku is all about, logic.
Owing to the popularity of Sudoku, several different versions of the game have sprung up in the past few years. Some are just tweaks to Sudoku itself, like Diagonal Sudoku, which also requires that the numbers 1-9 be filled in along both diagonal lines from one corner to the other.
Then there’s Hexudoku, which throws a 4 X 4 grids of the traditional 9 cells at you, and challenges you with additional letters on top of the numbers 1-9. These puzzles are no easy task, and for skilled players only.
Then we have some new games that are similar to Sudoku, but different. Perhaps the most prominent new one is Kakuro, which is like a cross between Sudoku and a Crossword puzzle. In this game, you’re given totals for each row and column that your numbers must equal out to, on a traditional crossword style layout. Just to spice things up a bit, you can also use each number 1-9 just once along each line.
If you find yourself addicted to Sudoku and looking for even more challenges, consider some of these great new versions.
For additional Sudoku resources or help, there are several great books available through Amazon.com and other online stores. If you enjoy playing online, there are many free sites where you can find all manner of puzzles, ranging from beginner to diabolical (insert maniacal laugh here). Sudoku Daddy provides 1000's of free sudoku puzzles for you to download.
As well, playing online makes it easy to take advantage of some of the great Sudoku programs found online, such as Sudoku Tiger, which can provide you with hints, automatically fill in candidates, track your progress, and much more. They’re a must for every Sudoku aficionado.