Sudoku: Its Power Unleashed
I could have used this guide when I started working Sudoku puzzles. While versions of Sudoku have existed for hundreds of years, these magic square puzzles, in their current form, did not start picking up popularity until the mid 2000’s when a British newspaper started publishing the puzzles (http://sudokuessentials.com). Sudoku quickly became a mainstay among those who enjoy pen and paper puzzles like crosswords, word searches, and word scrambles.
As silly as it may seem now, when I started my first Sudoku puzzle, I began blindly dropping numbers into cells, because I was only armed with the simplest directions – enter a number 1 through 9 in the cells where each number occurs once within a row and column. I quickly realized there was a method to the madness and subsequently learned how to solve these grids on my own without any help.
Sudoku: Its Power Unleashed by David Klein is the first guide I have read that offers tips and tricks for solving these magic squares. Some of the tips I’ve been practicing without realizing what I was really doing. Determining the “candidates” or all the number possibilities for each cell lets you find what Klein refers to as the “only candidate,” the “unique candidate,” the “exclusive element,” the “naked twins,” and the “naked triplets.” Moving from these easier puzzle-solving concepts, Klein moves to moderate problem-solving methods: Hidden Twins, Triplets, & Quads – tips to solving the puzzle that aren’t as easy to identify. Mastering these techniques will help you solve easy to moderate levels of Sudoku grids.
The next set of steps takes you beyond the intermediate puzzles and into the hard-to-advanced levels of Sudoku. “X-wing,” “swordfish,” “unique rectangles,” “Y-wings,” “XYZ-wings,” and “forcing chains” are methods that I might (and I should emphasize “might”) unconsciously use, but I could not begin to write instructions for working through these procedures. However, Klein does an excellent job of explaining how to identify and use these methods to solve even the hardest Sudoku puzzles.
The best thing about Klein’s guide is that he gives you plenty of practice puzzles; some with the candidates built-in, which make solving easier and others without, letting you do all the work. Puzzles range from easy to advanced, with some variations thrown in for good measure. Answers are included to check your work, but you’ll find mistakes are obvious, and solutions are included to provide hints when you are stuck.
More than ten years later, I am still solving Sudoku puzzles when I am on a plane, waiting in a doctor’s office, or sitting in front of the television. Sudoku: Its Power Unleashed will be added to my current collection of game books and used to brush-up my skills in solving these addictive little squares. I highly recommend Klein’s guide for beginners, moderate, and even advanced Sudoku puzzle solvers.
|Page Count||220 pages|
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|Category||Crafts & Hobbies|