Learning how to solve Sudoku puzzles requires applying logic. There are over thirty Sudoku techniques you need to know in order to solve all Sudoku puzzles from easy to fiendish. I cover some of these techniques on this website.
For a complete library of lessons I would recommend that you get Neel Mehta's Sudoku Solving Techniques videos. Neel demonstrates these techniques in detail. Seeing how to solve Sudoku puzzles is a quicker way of learning for many people.
Many easy puzzles can be solved using the scanning technique. All the free easy Sudoku puzzles on this website can be solved using this technique, and penciling in candidates.
You don't need to pencil in all the candidates. I only pencil in a candidate when it is limited to two cells in a row, column, or 3x3 region. Applying logic as you solve a puzzle will determine which cell will be solved by the candidate.
As you solve a cell, use that new number to see if you can solve additional cells in another 3x3 region.
As you progress to harder puzzles you can use candidate elimination techniques. In this
case I would pencil in all the candidates once I reached a point where simpler techniques such as scanning, stop working.
If you don't like to pencil in candidates you can enter your puzzle into a software program such as Sudoku Dragon.
All the candidates can be automatically "penciled in" saving you tedious labor. Or you can enter your puzzle on my blank grid with candidates.
When you use this tool, all you need to do is use "white out" to remove candidates as you enter the "givens" and as you solve cells.
Learning how to solve puzzles using candidate elimination techniques will help you solve harder Sudoku puzzles.
In my article on Sudoku tips I cover many of the common candidate elimination techniques.
Advanced puzzles may need advanced techniques such as X-Wing, XY-Wing, Swordfish, locked candidates, linked pairs, coloring and more. Check my other pages for instructions on how to solve Sudoku puzzles using these techniques.
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