We’ve covered some of the basic methods of solving Sudoku puzzles on other pages here. Now it’s time to practice some. Thanks to a program named Magnum Opus, that is possible here.
Magnum Opus is a program that allows you to both build and solve a large number of puzzle types including crossword and Sudoku and many more puzzle types. I’ve used it to create the seven Sudoku puzzles shown here…
Sudoku Puzzle One
Sudoku Puzzle Two
Sudoku Puzzle Three
Sudoku Puzzle Four
Sudoku Puzzle Five
Sudoku Puzzle Six
Sudoku Puzzle Seven
|But, even better, using a Java applet exported by the program I’ve been able to put those seven puzzles live on the e-olio site so you can solve any one or all of them interactively.||Interactive Puzzles|
If you want to dive in directly the link is above. I suggest that you keep reading however so I can tell you about the interactive player. A few important points…
- The applet requires Java. Many computers have Java installed but recently there have been a number of security holes described in the media along with instructions about how to disable Java. If you have disabled Java on your system you will need to enable it before the interactive solver will work. You will see an error message is Java is not installed/enabled on your system. Also, some browsers now ask you if you really want to run a Java applet before allowing it to load. Please say OK to that prompt.
- The applet will appear in a lightbox. Don’t be surprised when the solver appears and the screen darkens. That’s what’s supposed to happen. Unfortunately, I have not quite mastered lightboxes so it will appear with scroll bars on the right and bottom. You may have to maneuver those a bit to see the whole display.
- What’s available? The picture below shows the entire display you should see in the lightbox.
Using the drop down menu on the right you can select which of the seven puzzles you wish to solve. Number one is a bit easier than number seven so you might want to start there. To solve the puzzle click on or use the arrow keys to get to a square and just type the number that should go into the square. A number of menu items are available to you to help in that solution but you should try to use the logic you learned in the prior Sudoku pages to help.
The first of the help menu items you should use is the button that says “Reveal Errors.” When pressed, any numbers that you have entered that are wrong will be highlighted in red. You will have to use the “Undo” button to get rid of any erroneous numbers so remember to click the “Reveal Errors” button often as you are learning so you don’t erase correct numbers you might have entered between the wrong number and your pressing of the button.
If you need further help because you can’t write down the numbers that could go into a square then press the “Turn Assist On” button. Like magic, all the numbers that can go into each of the empty squares will appear. Even better, with those showing, when you click on a square with a number already assigned, in all of the other squares where that number can appear you will see that the little number has been highlighted in red. This allows you to look for singletons in any row, column, or container and immediately fill them in. One caution, when moving between squares with the mouse do NOT click on one of the small numbers unless you are certain that it doesn’t belong in that square. A click on one of the small numbers will remove it from play for that square and you won’t be able to later enter it into that square; even if it’s correct for that square. (See below for an illustration.)
For the advanced positions where the above won’t help there is a “Request a Hint” button. That will open a new window/tab in the browser with instructions on what to look for next. This can also be a good educational tool.
Finally, If you really get into trouble and can’t figure the puzzle out you have two options: (1) the “Reveal One Symbol” button which will place the correct number into whatever square is highlighted or (2) the nuclear option “Reveal Solution” which will just give you the whole answer.
There you have it. Now, enjoy the puzzles…