Where else can one turn for miscellaneous information when google is just not sufficing? TALKBASS OF COURSE! Well, this question goes out to all you Sudoku buffs! (There has to be some right? - I mean, we are an intellectual breed!) I have been doing "evil" difficulty puzzles from websudoku.com. I can typically get through these using a few basic and some advanced strategies. However, I have been working on this one puzzle for quite a few days at work and cannot seem to get beyond my current position. I decided to try out the strategy called the "X-Wing" It seems pretty simple... 2 columns and 2 rows with the same number in each and form a square/rectangle. From what I understood, when you have this pattern established, than those numbers should be the proper numbers to be used. However, in the same puzzle, in the same exact spots, I have two different sets of numbers (1,9) that form the X-Wing pattern, but NEITHER of them actually worked out properly and led to mistakes. Is there something I am missing on the X Wing strat? Does the X Wing ALWAYS work - I know I cannot always pick the right number, but I can usually eliminate other numbers. References: X-Wing: Solving Sudoku : Technique 8 : X-Wing Web Sudoku - Billions of Free Sudoku Puzzles to Play Online -Evil Puzzle number 8,009,875,010. I noticed (I think!) the X wing to be present in the top middle box and bottom middle box. Top Middle Box: Bottom Left and Bottom Right Bottom Middle Box: Top Left and Top Right Numbers that fit were 1 and 9. (But neither of them properly implied the elimination of another number... The numbers implied that were to be eliminated left the area with the wrong number.) I hope this was not too confusing... THANKS!

So you are saying by reading my post several times... I can enter my life... Through this admittance into my life.. I shall find the answer?

could be maki meant 'assess.' which may not be bad advice! i recently dove into soduko. i got really fast with the midrange ones, but i have not attempted 'evil' ones yet. i have been wondering if there were strategies for more advanced puzzles. sometimes, i resort to guessing when i have a situation like (i think) you are referring too. i have several boxes down to only two possible numbers. so i plug in one set and see if it leads to conflict. not to sound like a total nerd, but i feel like i am cheating (or maybe, giving up) when i do this. do you think it is possible to solve a soduko entirely thru logic and attrition? i may look into the strategies, but i also try to heed the maki-way: assess whether or not this is what my time should be spent on... especially when there are asian women in the world.

Half way through any sudoku puzzle, I realize what I'm doing and stop in favor of something productive.

There are basic and advanced strategies out there. However, you will need more than just the basics to get through the more difficult ones. For example the "X Wing" "Swordfish" "X-Y Wing" are considered advanced. You can easily look up "sudoku strategies" in google and see what they are all about. They can be hard to understand by just reading the description so you have to try and apply it to the actual puzzle. I believe these puzzles are meant to be completed entirely through logic but I have run out of logical means on this particular puzzle, at least ones that I am understanding. I do not do these puzzles when I have other things to do but when I am at work on a slow day, these make for great ways to pass time. I can bump out an "evil" one in at least an hour which is pretty good when considering I work 8 hours a day! This one puzzle I am doing, I have been working on, staring at, contemplating for about 4 days now. I put it down yesterday and completed another evil in less than or about an hour. So I guess it just depends on which puzzle one is doing. My favored way of figuring out numbers is to use little markings of possible numbers in the top of the boxes. However, I only mark them if there are just two possibilities within that box. When you have two sets that fit into only two boxes (say two boxes where only 1,5 fit in each) you are on to something and that info can be used greatly to eliminate other possibilities on the grid.

that is most of what i do, rite there.... today is a slow day at work, so maybe i will try your evil puzzle. MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

websudoku.com allows for printing in multiple size formats too! With billions of puzzles, say goodbye to boredom and hello to intellectual frustration!

hey man, i don't know what to say, but, i just solved the puzzle. there were 17 numbers that i could quickly 'logic' in, then i got the upper right box down to sets of two each missing numbers (5,8 & 1,3)... so i guessed on each set and happened to guess correctly! and the rest just fell into place after that.

Wth! Lol I know the section you are talking about (I don't even have it in front of me and last looked at it a few hours ago). Guessing that area would definitely give some valuable hints to the other numbers, but I wanted to avoid the guess and check system. However, I guess its inevitable sometimes.

I find the most common stumbling block in sudoku puzzles to be just that type of binary ambiguity. One must typically look deeper/broader and make some inferences that allow you to continue. That is; you need more info to solve those squares, but knowing that those squares are limited to those two possible values gives you info you can use to help solve other squares. Also, I think what Maki really meant was: access some ass and get back to us