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 Beverly Mackie BellaOnline's Math Editor

Sudoku Tips, Hints and Strategies

If you're new to Sudoku style games, here are some tips, hints and strategies to help you learn how to solve these fun math puzzles.

First, go to the Easy Sudoku Puzzle #7697 and print it out. Then come back here to the hints page. That way you can actually follow along and see what is being explained.

OK, look at the very center horizontal row, the one that has a "9" in the middle of it. It already has a 2,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 in it. Only 1 and 3 are missing. That means that those 2 empty cubes must hold 1 and 3. But which number goes into which spot? If you look up and down from the left empty spot, you see there's a 3 up above it. If you look up and down from the right empty spot, you'll see there's a 1 below it. This means that the 1 goes in the left empty spot, and the 3 goes in the right empty spot. Now you have the entire middle row across filled in.

Now look at the middle vertical row, the one going up and down through that center "9". This row currently has 1,2,3,4,7,8,9. It's missing 5 and 6. This time, can you figure out which of the empty spots needs to take the 5, and which takes the 6? Now you have two rows completed - one horizontal, and one vertical.

You're going to use this same technique to figure out the remaining cubes. Sometimes it will be obvious what number should go into a cube. At other times, all you'll know is that it's one of 3 or 4 numbers. When this is a case, write little versions of those numbers in the corner of the cube. As you work on other cubes, you'll begin to see how the numbers relate to each other.
If one row has a spot that could be 1 or 3, and you realize that another spot in that row holds a 3, now you know that the first spot must be a 1.

Good luck! It's great exercise for those little grey cells in your brain :)

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