I was curious about how many purists there are out there who prefer to solve sudoku puzzles entirely by hand compared to those that use software to assist them. I used to write out a puzzle on a large grid, and figure out all the candidates in each square, and worked from there. Obviously, this is a painstaking process and errors can result.

Then I tried out Simple Sudoku from someone's recommendation, and am able to solve much more difficult puzzles because it automatically fills out and removes candidates for me as I work on the puzzle. It can also highlight any given number that I choose, which allows for easier detection of various techniques to use, such as x-wing, swordfish, etc.

So I was thinking... Is this considered cheating, or merely an aid to solve the puzzle? I don't ask for any hints, or for it to solve any candidates for me. But I can't help but feel like I'm cheating...

Any thoughts?