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**Sudoku Help**

**How to play Sudoku**

Complete the grid so that every row, column and every three-by-three box contains the digits 1 to 9. Solve the puzzle by logic and reasoning alone, there is no maths involved.

**Simple solving techniques**

All correctly formed Sudoku puzzles are solvable using logical solving techniques. The majority of puzzles can be solved using just one key technique.

As you know, the numbers from 1 to 9 must be placed once in every block. Using this knowledge, one can attempt the easiest technique: identifying a unique number to go in each block in the grid.

Figure 1Here, you can see the highlighted block has 4 out of 9 squares present. Generally, it at the beginning it is wise to choose blocks that are more complete: these often lead to some easy squares to solve.

Look along to the blocks to the left, right and below. Scan for any of the numbers: 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 that have yet to be placed in this block.

You should be able to spot a 3 to the right, eliminating the possibility of another 3 in the top row.

Figure 2If you look down from this block, there is a second 3 allocated to the first column in the block.

Now, both the top row and the first column of the block already contain a 3. With the row and column eliminated, there is only one square remaining for the 3 in the block. You can now place the 3 as shown below.

Figure 3This method is relatively easy, provided you can identify good numbers to search for.

Continuing with the same method, there is an easy 6 in the centre left block.

Figure 4The next method is very similar as it utilises the same technique, but this time for rows and columns.

The Sudoku has several near-complete rows and columns. Pick one and identify the numbers that are missing.

Figure 5In this column, there is space for a 2, 6 and 9. However, the 6 can only lie in one of the 3 available squares as there is a 6 to the left of the other remaining gaps in the column.

Figure 6Generally, it is a good idea to focus initially on the same number. In the past example, you can see that the first 6 lead directly to finding the 6 in the column.

Continuing along this line, it is easy to spot another 6 in the block above.

Figure 7On this occasion, you can place the final 6 in the bottom centre block. Usually, it would not be possible to place all the remaining numbers in sequence.

Figure 8In fact, this 6 is particularly easy to spot. There are other 6s in blocks above and to the left and right. In addition, the 6 has only one remaining place for this row and column.

Figure 9 demonstrates the different techniques that can go into finding a particular value.

Figure 9Similar techniques are used to solve this medium rated Sudoku puzzle.

© Sudoku Solver 2006