A couple newb questions

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A couple newb questions

Postby sudokunewbie » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:03 am

About a month ago, I went on a long flight, so I picked up a sudoku book because I'd heard it was pretty fun. Since then, I've gotten into it, but have a couple questions.

1. How are puzzles rated? I've noticed different books/newspapers use different terminology.

2. I've noticed that all the puzzles I've seen have some sort of symmetry to them. Is this just me being too observent, or is that required in a puzzle?

3. From what I've browsed through on this forum, I've formed the opinion that usually newspaper/book puzzles are not difficult and don't require advanced solving techniques. (Even diabolical ones, which I can easily do.) Are there any books that contain difficult puzzles? I much prefer a book than printing puzzles off the internet, especially as most of my puzzle solving is while traveling, but I also like a challenge, and the stuff I've seen doesn't really meet my criteria.

Also, I live in the US, if that has any bearing on ratings and such.

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Postby keith » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:01 am

1. There is no standard rating system. Most ratings are done by a computer program and measure the most "advanced" technique needed, and/or the number of points where only one technique (of a given list) will advance the solution.

2. Symmetry is not required. It is an aesthetic thing. Most published puzzles are symmetric in some way.

3. Newspaper puzzles are easier / much easier than ones you will find online. Puzzles in American newspapers are not as difficult as those in some British newspapers.

I think most books range from very easy to not so very easy. For your next trip, print out some online puzzles before you go. Here is a thread which has some good sites to look at:


Best wishes,

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Postby emm » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:55 am

Most published puzzles are aiming at pen and paper solvers and even the hardest of these puzzles can generally be solved with few or no pencilmarks. Puzzles requiring advanced techniques are generally to be found online.

For something different the Times Killer Sudoku book is a good source of the popular Killer variant at increasingly difficult levels.
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