Need suggestions - keeping track of killer cage combos

For fans of Killer Sudoku, Samurai Sudoku and other variants

Need suggestions - keeping track of killer cage combos

Postby enxio27 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:26 pm

I've started working my way through the Gentle killer series on I finished the first one, now working on the second (bombed the first try). For those who are not aware, I'm a pencil-and-paper solver. I'm looking for some tips on how to keep track of possible cage combinations for each cage and eliminating them as they are ruled out. The 2-cell cages are easy enough, but cages with more than that are beyond my skill in keeping them in my head.

Please note: I'm not looking for a chart or app to help with the initial cage combinations. I need something to help me keep track of remaining cage combinations as candidates are eliminated, something beyond pencil marks in each cell. Do you use a separate piece of paper with a combo list for each cage? Other ideas?
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Re: Need suggestions - keeping track of killer cage combos

Postby SpAce » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:34 am

I used to solve Killers a lot (always with pencil-and-paper), and never needed anything but pencil marks and generic charts for the common combos. The important part is to have a system which makes sure any changes to the grid (placements or eliminations) are fully processed and all of their residual effects are calculated and acted on. It's even more important with sudoku variants that have additional constraints, like Killer or Sudoku X.

In fact, solving Killers motivated me to develop my p&p system to have those kinds of book-keeping functions, because otherwise I would have been so lost. Another key component was adopting negative dotting for basic pencil marks (i.e. marking impossible candidates instead of possibles), which works especially well for Killer as it's an elimination game even more than normal sudoku (hard to get direct placements at all at first).
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Re: Need suggestions - keeping track of killer cage combos

Postby HATMAN » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:46 am

I use a "Morse Code" system i.e. a dot for possible and a dash for eliminated. I have found this useful when doing anti-night as I find the relationship difficult to keep in my head.
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