Sorry if this thread seems a little silly but on a few other forums I visit, it's usually considered to be a good idea to make an intro thread in the general discussion forum, not sure why, but not sure why not!
My name is Kifo. I'm 21 and I live about 30 miles ESE of Denver, Colorado. I got into sudoku mainly because I also am into speed solving twisty puzzles (speed cubing), as well as fewest moves, 15/n-puzzles, burrs, etc. I had never really thought that there was too much depth in sudoku, as far as techniques and patterns and study, partially because the only puzzles a person usually sees can be solved using only crosshatching. I had a very hard time with a medium difficulty puzzle over one summer, without internet or any way to research solving techniques, and ended up giving up, tossing the puzzle in a box with my letters, and left feeling totally discouraged.
About 2 years later, while waiting for food at a pizza joint, I spotted a half-done sudoku and started trying to solve it. I'm not sure what had changed, but I started to see a few small logic things, and i was curious, so I went online, searched, and WOW! The amount of techniques completely amazed me. It was a little much to take in at once, so I found a program I liked (hodoku), and started working my way through, trying to stay away from hints, and using google as much as possible.
Fast forward 4 months to now. I've become comfortable with wings, UR's, subsets, turbot-style patterns, fishes (finned and sashimi, haven't even started with franken or kraken!), and short(er) chains and loops. My favorite class of techniques currently would probably be almost locked sets, but I am only starting to get into them, but they seem to lead to some very versatile and effective techniques, and they also appear to be rather common, if you know where to look, and I don't really like chains, so ALS has a nice big spot saved in my heart
Maybe you guys know the feeling, but just keeping my eye open, talking to people about sudoku, trying to find friends who solved it, there doesn't seem to be anyone I know or have met or around me that uses any kind of advanced techniques whatsoever! I'd like to talk about sudoku and techniques, and in searching around the internet for some ALS help, found the forum, and figured why not?
So yea, Hi. I'm guessing probably no one will read this, but just trying to introduce myself! I'll be around more often, and hopefully get to know a few of you, too!