Solving
Sudoku puzzles the Wise way

My wife and I had both been curious about sudoku puzzles so when we were flying to the east coast I took an enlarged copy of a easy sudoku puzzle to work. We found that was something we enjoyed doing together. In fact it reminded me of my grandparents and later my parents working the crossword puzzle together. I’m sure it was one of the things they looked forward to everyday. Personally I don’t like cross word puzzles - probably because of my poor spelling.

My wife and I then bought a Sudoku puzzles book and we were off solving puzzles. One of the first things we discovered was you need a much larger grid to work the puzzle on. At first we just drew one in a notebook but that got old pretty quick. I went to an Office Depot and drew up a 9 X 9 grid with the 9 boxes outlined in thicker ink. I then had them run off a 100 copies. Later I used my grid to have Sudoku pads made up.

Now all you need is a puzzle to work.
We’ve found Sudoku puzzles everywhere, newspapers, magazines and books full
of puzzles. They are generally rated by difficulty from easy to unsolvable.
*We’ve found that it’s best to have the
answer available before you start the puzzle. *When* *you first start out you may want to
check and see if you’re on the right track by checking the answers. I know we did. There’s nothing worse
than working most of a puzzle and finding you’ve made a mistake.

Once you’ve selected a puzzle to work, copy it to the pad. We found it helped to write the puzzle number on the pad too. I suggest that you work the following puzzle with us.

The rules for a puzzle are:

- There are 9 rows, 9 columns, and 9 boxes.
- Each box, each row and each column must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

That’s it.

Each puzzle gives you numbers to work with and your job is to figure out the missing numbers. We would like to give you some pointers on how to do that. First, some navigation tools. We’ll number the columns across the top from left to right 1 to 9 and the rows from top to bottom 1 to 9 and the boxes from top to bottom left to right 1 to 9. Squares will be displayed as (column, row) throughout this training.

We’ll use these numbers to point out a clue to finding a number.

Using the example of the puzzle above let’s track down
the easy ones. First we start with all the squares with the number 1. Check the
other columns and rows to see if we can find a place where only that number can
be located. In our example, we progress to the number 5 before we find what I
call a “freebee”. We have a 5
in (3, 1) - that’s column 3 row 1. We also have a 5 in (5, 2). This means that
we can only have a 5 in

I have put in the 5’s and circled them with a number showing the order I found them.

Another process we do is to identify places where there are
2 squares where a number can go. If you look at

This is what the puzzle looks like after phase one (finding the freebees).

Next we look for columns, rows and boxes that have the
fewest open squares. In this puzzle column 7 only has 2 open squares so we’ll
start there. Determine which numbers are missing and write them at the bottom of
the column. In this case we’re missing the 2 and the 6. Go to square (7,2) our
first open square and see if either of the missing numbers are in

This is what the puzzle should look like now.

Now let’s fill in

Puzzle with

I’ve continued working the puzzle and have come
to row 3. When I worked

Example of matched pair.

Continue filling in all the blank squares by box, column and row until they are all filled in with either the number or small numbers in the bottom of the square.

While filling out row 1 I came across a lone number. That means that the number 2 only shows up in one square (4,1). When this happens you know that’s where it has to go.

When you do box 7 you should find another lone number. In

This is the completed puzzle.

At this point you should be able to work most easy puzzles. Later we’ll go into some more advanced stuff.

Here is a blank work sheet. If you put your mouse over it and right click you should be able to "save picture as" then print the saved picture.

Good Luck.

email us: mailto:butch@wisechat.com