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Feedback and Questions

I've received a lot of interesting comments and questions from Sudoku fans over the last few years and this page is where I try to answer them. Please feel free to drop me a note on the side of the page or try the Facebook comment box. Or you can email me directly at .


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Many thanks to all the people who have helped improve the solvers and strategies with their feedback!

Friday 17-Mar-2017

... by: Doug, USA

Hi Andrew. Are there theoretical limits to how few numbers can be present initially to produce a unique solution? Are there algorithms for producing solvable sudokus, or is a trial and error approach necessary? More generally, has the game been thoroughly analyzed mathematically?

Thanks for your great site and for maintaining it over the years!

Andrew Stuart writes (25-Mar-2017):

Good questions. 17 is the smallest but this has only been proven computationally not mathematically. There is a triangular relationship between making, solving and grading puzzles. Have you read this paper on the site?
http://www.sudokuwiki.org/Sudoku_Creation_and_Grading.pdf

Friday 17-Feb-2017

... by: Ed, USA

I really enjoy sudokuwiki. I doubt if I will ever get good at sudoku, but I try. There are a lot of things I don't understand in the strategies section, but I do have a question: What is meant or intended by "Show Possibles"

Thanks for the great games!!

Ed Kendall

Andrew Stuart writes (22-Feb-2017):

This step looks at the clues (or recently solved squares) and runs along the rows, columns and boxes removing candidates that can't exists because of the clues (or solutions). It’s a clear-off step. Actually the word "possibles" harks back to the first year of Sudoku (2005) when people were making up names for everything and nothing was very fixed. I probably chose that as one of the friendly words at the time to denote the notes we make in the puzzle. Since then I've settled on 'candidates' in all my documents, so it’s a bit of an archaism.

Since the solver is a "step by step" solver I break down the moves into
- Strategy removes some candidates
- cells with one candidate left are changed into big numbers
- "show possibles" clears of candidates implied by that solved cell

Otherwise stuff would change too much for people to follow

Friday 3-Feb-2017

... by: dave, canada

Do you have puzzle packs that are made up of just one type of sudoku? I'd like to buy some puzzle packs that are only of the traditional sudoko type instead of packs that consist of a variety of puzzle types.

Andrew Stuart writes (4-Feb-2017):

All the currently Sudoku packs are just the normal vanilla sudoku. There is one of each grade plus one with mixed grade. I used to do other Sudoku variants but not this year.

Tuesday 10-Jan-2017

... by: ynotme, France

When using the Take Step button, Sudoku Solver indicates that results (such and such a square set to such and such number, unique in row etc) will appear in the box below the grid, but in fact this happens only sporadically if at all. Is there some menu command or routine I'm missing or is it a bug ?

Andrew Stuart writes (12-Jan-2017):

The reports in the box below the board only occur when something interesting happens. For very easy puzzles you may not need a strategy at all. Simple removal of candidates and the solving of cells as numbers are cleared are not reported individually (since there may be many in one step) and the same information is displayed on the board with colors.

Monday 9-Jan-2017

... by: Kay, USA

Thank you for this "solver" site!! I get stuck on some of the more difficult puzzles and simply can't see a solution. This will help me understand where I go wrong or add to my understanding of some of the more elusive strategies.

Andrew Stuart writes (12-Jan-2017):

You're very welcome! Enjoy

Monday 2-Jan-2017

... by: Diane, Australia

Str8ts in 5 Daily Puzzles has not been loading on iPad for last 2 days. Other 4 puzzles load okay.

Andrew Stuart writes (3-Jan-2017):

Yes I needed to add some more puzzles for 2017 for Str8ts
Thanks for the alert!
Have a great new year

Sunday 1-Jan-2017

... by: Steven A Bloedel, usa

there is a problem buying puzzle packs. they do not show up like they use to to make a selection for puchase.

also, where can i go to get help with aic's. i can do almost locked sets, but just can not see aic's. i understand them, just can not see them in a puzzle.

Andrew Stuart writes (3-Jan-2017):

I will be releasing some more puzzle packs soon. I upgraded to Windows 10 this year as did many people. Now I find that my old copy of Adobe Indesign isn't working and I can't run the scripts to make the packs. Still scratching my head on this one, but hopefully a workaround soon

Some of the strategies like AICs are a bit academic, in that they are more difficult for pen and paper humans. But we need them if we are going to progress on the crazy difficult puzzles. Sudoku is unusual for being so deep. I added a feature on the solver which shows chains, have you played with that? Otherwise I can only suggest examples. I know some people are good with AICs visually but very few. You'll be pretty expert if you can solve up to locked sets.

Have a great new year


EDIT: New 2017 Puzzle packs available!
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