Hints regarding hints

Everything about Sudoku that doesn't fit in one of the other sections

Hints regarding hints

Postby jraggio » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:45 am

Hi all. I have a question about placing hints in a square. Forgive me if this is hard to understand. Is it OK to put partial hints in a box? In other words, if I know 2 boxes within a 3x3 square can be a "1", is it OK to just put "1" in each of these or is it common (recomended) to put all possible values in a box when writing hints? Should I put "123" and "145" fpor example or is it OK to just put the "1"s and add other later if I want to. I know I can do whatever I want. I'm just asking now so I don't develop bad habits and for when I learn more advanced tactics.

Thanks,
John
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Postby ab » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:58 am

it's up to you where you put pencil marks jraggio, it's just personal taste.

However some puzzles don't require any pencil marks and indeed some people only like puzzles they can solve without pencil marks. If a puzzle requires locked candidates, then you might want to just put the 1s in the cells in their 3x3 box. if a puzzle requires techniques harder than pairs then you might want to put all the candidates in most cells.
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Postby jraggio » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:16 pm

Thanks for the hint.

J
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Re: Hints regarding hints

Postby Cec » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:32 pm

jraggio wrote:".. I have a question about placing hints in a square. Forgive me if this is hard to understand. Is it OK to put partial hints in a box? In other words, if I know 2 boxes within a 3x3 square can be... .....I'm just asking now so I don't develop bad habits......."

Hi John,
It's good that you are asking about not developing bad habits. Therefore I would suggest you click on Here and read up on the forum's recommended Terminology. Note the "squares" you refer to are called "cells" and the 3X3 grids are called "boxes".
As the saying goes.. "the chorus sounds better when we're using the same music sheet":)

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Postby Myth Jellies » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:25 pm

partial "hints" or candidates or pencilmarks will work fine for some techniques such as locked candidates, hidden sets, x-wings, swordfish, finned fish, strong link patterns, and coloring. Some others like naked sets, certain forms of uniqueness, and xy-wings & bi-value loops will probably require a more complete set.
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Postby motris » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:03 am

When I'm solving a sudoku for speed, my notetaking method can be summarized in this way: "If I can ever limit a digit to just two cells in a box, or to just a single row or column in a box, then I will write that number lightly in the corner of those cells that can contain it."

When I'm solving a sudoku for fun, I try to avoid notes. When and if I get stuck, I'll do what's mentioned above first and then, if still stuck, finally get around to listing all the candidates and searching for more advanced eliminations that can be made.

But, as other posters have mentioned, writing in candidates sooner works better for some people than others and no system is necessarily the "best".
What's most important is to find a system of notes that you understand and that help you solve the tough puzzles.

Thomas Snyder
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