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Chain Sudoku Light Vol. 1

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When a work has an excellent premise, it's always interesting to find variations on the theme. Haydn knew it. Beethoven knew it. Now Conceptis gets on board with another in their popular series of browser versions of pen-and-paper puzzles, and this time the focus is on perhaps the most popular remix of that ongoing phenom, Sudoku. Chain Sudoku Light Volume 1, designed with the same care as its fellow works, is a twisty variant that's very, very good.

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Chain Sudoku For Novices: Tips and Strategies

  • The method I've found the most efficient is to pick one digit and look for rows, columns, and groups with only one position that digit could possibly fit. You could also look for circles where only one digit could possibly fit, but that's a little slower.

  • Because of the way the groups are shaped, a single circle outside of a group can share a row or column with a large fraction of that group. Even if you only have one instance of a given digit, that one instance can say a lot depending on where it is.

  • If a group takes up almost all of a row or column, the digits in the row or column but not in the group will be precisely the same as the digits vice-versa. A simple application of set theory will prove why. (Hint: if x+z = y+z, then...?)

  • Don't forget about pencil marks. If you know only two or three digits can belong in a circle, click the little square in the upper left of that circle and enter those numbers. They'll all show up without any one of them being finalized. This is a good way to remind yourself of what you've already figured out so you can eliminate possibilities elsewhere.

  • The fastest way to enter digits is to mouse over the circle (or the little square if entering pencil-marks) and press the appropriate number key on your keyboard (or the backspace key to erase). This way you don't have to deal with the little pop-up menu.

  • When you mouse over a circle, all the circles in the same group will be highlighted with a brown border. If you click on a digit you've already entered, all the identical digits will be highlighted in yellow, and you can use the arrow keys to cycle through the highlighted digits. Both of these very useful for checking at a glance what any digit's full influence is.

  • It can be very difficult to tell when you've made a mistake, so if you discover you've reached an impossibility it may be best to start over (the button with the two arrows). Or ragequit and go drown your frustration in a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Up to you.

7 Comments

SonicLover Author Profile Page December 1, 2011 10:17 AM

Chain Sudoku For Novices: Tips and Strategies

  • The method I've found the most efficient is to pick one digit and look for rows, columns, and groups with only one position that digit could possibly fit. You could also look for circles where only one digit could possibly fit, but that's a little slower.

  • Because of the way the groups are shaped, a single circle outside of a group can share a row or column with a large fraction of that group. Even if you only have one instance of a given digit, that one instance can say a lot depending on where it is.

  • If a group takes up almost all of a row or column, the digits in the row or column but not in the group will be precisely the same as the digits vice-versa. A simple application of set theory will prove why. (Hint: if x+z = y+z, then...?)

  • Don't forget about pencil marks. If you know only two or three digits can belong in a circle, click the little square in the upper left of that circle and enter those numbers. They'll all show up without any one of them being finalized. This is a good way to remind yourself of what you've already figured out so you can eliminate possibilities elsewhere.

  • The fastest way to enter digits is to mouse over the circle (or the little square if entering pencil-marks) and press the appropriate number key on your keyboard (or the backspace key to erase). This way you don't have to deal with the little pop-up menu.

  • When you mouse over a circle, all the circles in the same group will be highlighted with a brown border. If you click on a digit you've already entered, all the identical digits will be highlighted in yellow, and you can use the arrow keys to cycle through the highlighted digits. Both of these very useful for checking at a glance what any digit's full influence is.

  • It can be very difficult to tell when you've made a mistake, so if you discover you've reached an impossibility it may be best to start over (the button with the two arrows). Or ragequit and go drown your frustration in a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Up to you.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

There was a big to-do in the logic puzzle community a couple of years ago when conceptis released this sudoku-variant. Another individual came up with the variant under a different name and conceptis basically ripped off his concept as if it were their own (no attribution). When he, and many others, called conceptis on it, concetis basically told him to go to hell. This is a large part of the reason that I don't visit conceptis' site anymore.

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Didn't you guys feature Strimko here earlier, which this is a clone of? Maybe worth linking to.

(Yes, yes: Strimko is basically a redesign of Jigsaw Sudoku, but the resemblance is closer here I think.)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Oh, wait, that's what the phrase "knew it" links to in the first paragraph. My bad.

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>> I was definitely aware of the controversy and wanted to acknowledge it, but on the other hand I didn't want it to dominate the feature.

So instead, the review reads like Conceptis came up with the idea in the first place? And you were aware that they didn't? How is that not a breach of ethics?

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It doesn't read that way at all, stigant. Read it again. It clearly starts out by giving credit to braintonik before saying that conceptis now gets on board with the puzzle concept.

AND BESIDES, WHO CARES? Do you know how many game companies are making Sudoku puzzles? You can't copyright ideas like this. It's no breach of ethics.

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