George wrote:In the above web site, it suggests that "there are examples of 17-hint uniquely completable Sudoku puzzles, but no known 16-hint examples." What that means is that 17 initial numbers are the minimum required to give a unique solution. But, have you considered what should be the minimum initial numbers given such that bifurcation (including forcing chain) is not required to solve it.

I think I've seen 17 and 18 puzzles that would be classified as "easy". I don't have time to look for them but I can give you one of the few 19-clues easy puzzles I have generated.

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`....3.7.5`

.316.....

2........

.....5...

..7.1.9..

...4.....

........4

.....782.

7.6.9....