LNH: Drabble Girl: Drabble #1

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 2 02:37:45 PST 2006

Jamas Enright wrote:
> Jana sipped her tea, sighed in relaxation, and turned her attention to
> the Sudoku before her.

Oh oh oh!  Can I help?

First, notice that you can't have any two 1s in the same column or row.
 Each 3x3 box has one and only one 1.  Can you figure out where it
goes?  Use a pen and write in the number in the appropriate box.
Repeat for 2 through 9.

Second, are there any rows, columns or 3x3 boxes over half full?  If
five of the numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 then the remaining numbers are
6, 7, 8 and 9.  Note that the numbers you write in these boxes have to
be unique for all the rows, columns and 3x3 boxes in which they appear.
 You may need to write more than one small sized number in the same
Move on to rows, columns or 3x3 boxes that are progressively less full
until you've restricted what numbers can be in each box.

Third, can you see any patterns that would logically exclude numbers
appearing in other boxes?  For example, if any two boxes in the same
row, column or box can _only_ accommodate the same two numbers (say 6
and 7) then those numbers _must_ be in those two boxes and cannot be in
any other box in that row, column or 3x3 box.  Likewise, three boxes
that are restricted to containing three numbers must contain those
three numbers and so on.

Finally, if you're not already done at this point then switch from pen
to pencil and start guessing.  If a box can only accommodate an 8 or a
9 then assume it is an 8.  Can you solve it?  If you can, you are done.
 If assuming that the number in this box is an 8 makes the sudoku
impossible to solve then you know it is a 9.  It is also possible that
the sodoku has two possible solutions, but that would really suck
because then your solution might not match the soultion that appears in
tomorrow's newspaper.  Both solutions are equally valid, however.



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