I'm really, really stuck on the "medium level" sudoku puzzle in today's Washington Post (page c13). What I have is this, including both the numbers filled in by the paper and the very few numbers that I was able to solve for on my own:

5,6,3, *,9,8, *,*,4

7,2,*, *,3,*, *,*,*

*,1,8, *,6,*, *,*,5

*,*,*, *,*,5, 7,3,*

*,7,1, *,*,*, 5,*,*

*,8,5, 6,7,*, *,*,*

1,*,*, *,5,*, 6,*,*

*,*,*, *,1,*, *,9,2

8,*,*, 9,2,*, *,5,*

In the top row, I can see that the only three missing numbers are 1,2, and 7; the numbers 1 and 2 could go in any of these three columns in the top row but the number 7 could only go in either the top 4th column or the top 8th column.

In the top right box, the number 7 can only go in the 8th column of the top row or in the 8th column of the 3rd row.

I keep thinking, "there's got to be a clue in this..." but I don't see how it helps me.

In the center box, the number 4 and 8 belongs in the middle column though it's not clear which number belongs where. However, because I know there are only two places that the numbers 4 and 8 can possibly go in the middle square I was able to eliminate 4 and 8 from all the other cells in the middle square.

What am I missing? Any suggestions/tips?

Thanks,

Andrea