WHY THE Sudoku Gameboard?
Welcome to the Sudoku Gameboard. I know that it is
a pretty bold statement to call something the best and I know that
there are a lot of very good sudoku websites out there. So
why is this one the best? It's because it has been designed right
from the beginning to make it easier for YOU to solve the puzzle rather
than relying heavily on the computer to do it for you. The Sudoku
Gameboard still
requires you to do the puzzle, but it helps you by
presenting the sudoku information in a simple, logical, and
intuitive fashion. You only need to try the Sudoku Gameboard to realize how it simplifies YOUR solving the puzzle. The challenge
of doing a sudoku remains, the drudgery is gone.
Let me explain. You can solve most very simple sudokus right on the printed sheet of paper or the newspaper (What's a newspaper???) or
being technologically savvy, on
the computer screen.
For more difficult sudokus, however, you need to start tracking
"candidates" which are the possible answers for an
individual cell. Many computerized sudoku programs help you with
this by displaying the candidates in the unfilled cells. The Sudoku
Gameboard does this also. The difference is that most other
players display the candidates in three rows of three values each.
If you have done any sudokus on a computer you have probably seen
this.
This is all fine and fancy for display purposes, but does it help you
solve the sudoku. Well yes, sort of. But let's be honest. This
three by three matrix is a pain. While it does show you the numbers,
it is difficult to comprehend and to make comparison between cells quickly
and easily. Some of you probably get eye strain or a migraine using the
3 by 3 format. The Sudoku Gameboard, on the other hand, presents
candidate information on a single line in an easy to read format. It
won't take a rocket scientist to realize which one is better.
Finding clues, like pointing pairs or triples is easy with The Sudoku
Gameboard as you observe numbers in a more natural fashion.
If time is money, you will become a rich person by
using The Sudoku Gameboard. Check out the instructions below. Then give it a try, and have a good time.
USING THE SUDOKU GAMEBOARD
To solve anything other than the simplest puzzles you will need to know
the basic solving techniques such as singles, pointing pairs, hidden pairs
and other basic techniques. As you advance to the more difficult
puzzles you will need to become familiar with the more sophisticated
techniques such as xwings, xywings and xyzwings. You can learn
these techniques from a variety of sources on the internet. Just
search it out. Once you have mastered these techniques you will be
able to solve puzzles either by hand or using a computer player.
Using The Player will allow you to solve most puzzles quickly and easily . I guarantee it.
FINDING A SUDOKU
The Sudoku Gameboard does not provide you with sample sudokus.
You can find some all over the place so no need for a sudoku generator
here. One that I use is located at:
http://www.opensky.ca/~jdhildeb/software/sudokugen/
You may want to check it out. It will open in a separate window
which you can set side by side with the Sudoku Gameboard.
So, let's see what The Gameboard looks like and how it works.
Notice that the nine rows and nine columns are well
displayed and the nine "Boxes" very discernable as well.
Let's take a minute and talk about the elements marked in the picture above:
Game Name: Click on this area and you can enter a name for the puzzle to define it source and/or other
information. For example "Game 27 Page 8" or
"From Sunday Paper".
Guide Link: That, of course, gets you here so you have
probably already clicked on this button.
Count Bar: This shows the count for each number that has
already been entered in the puzzle. When you enter a number, the
count bar is automatically updated. This is especially useful when you start
a puzzle as you might want to start looking at numbers with a high initial
count. When all nine entries for a particular number have been entered in
the puzzle, the number count displays the number 9 in Red.
Number Bar: This bar is used for entering a number into a cell or
modifying the Candidate List for a
cell. To enter a number for the cell, click on the cell close to the
dot. The
cell will change from its shaded color to white, indicating that it is
ready for you to enter a number. Simply click the number you want
on the Number Bar and that number will be entered into the cell.
Simple as that. If you have a number pad on your keyboard and would
prefer, you can enter the number directly by pressing the number on the
keypad. When you enter a number into a cell, the candidates list is
automatically adjusted for Rows, Columns and Boxes.
When using certain sudoku techniques, you may/will want to make changes to
candidates manually. For example, if you have a "pointing
pair" in a row, you will want to eliminate those two numbers from the
candidates list for the other cells in that row or column, and possibly in a box if
the pair occurs in a single box. To do this, click on the candidates
list in the cell in question. When you do this, the number bar will
change. Those numbers that remain in the candidate list will be in
white and those that are already removed will be gray on the number
bar. To change the status of a particular candidate, simply click on
the number on the number bar. The status of the candidate will be
reversed, either removing it or restoring it. As you do this, the
color of that number cell will also be switched. Note that you must use
the Number Bar to modify the candidates list. You can not use the
number pad on your keyboard.
Candidates and Cells: Hopefully, these are self
evident. If not, look up some basic instructions on how to do a
sudoku.
Menu Bar
New  This option clears the puzzle and prepares it for a new
game.
Store
 Saves the puzzle data that exists at the time this option is
clicked. The data can be reloaded using the Restore option described
below. The "cookies" option must be turned on in your
browser. This option may not work in some browsers versions. Since
The Player is somewhat unforgiving when you make a mistake, you may want
to make a habit of Storing periodically while you are doing the
puzzle. If you do make a mistake, you can use the Restore option to
go back to that point in you work on the puzzle.
Restore
 The counter part to the Store option, Restore brings back the
information saved using the Store option. One of the nice features
of Restore is that as you enter answers they are shown in black, Restored
data is shown in blue. Therefore, it is a good idea to Store and
then Restore the puzzle after entering the initial data and before
starting to solve the puzzle. That way,
as you work the puzzle, you can tell which data you entered and which data
is original.
Reset
 This option resets the candidates based solely on the cell values.
Any candidates which you manipulate manually are not included. This
option is useful when you thoroughly mess up the puzzle and need to make
changes to cell values.
Singles
 Okay, I lied. The Player does help you solve the puzzle.
However, it does this on a very limited basis. The Singles option
tells you if there are any singleton values in a row, column or box.
Obviously, if a candidate value occurs only once in a row, column or box,
it is the value that belongs in that cell So, Singles tells you if a
Singleton exist, but it doesn't tell you what that number is. That's
up to you to find.
Similarly, you probably realize there if there is only one candidate left
in a cell, then that is the number that goes in that cell. One
remaining candidate is a special case of a singleton and something you
should constantly be watching for as it is the easiest way to identify the
number for a cell.
Wings
 The Wings option shows a couple of "tools" that you can use to
solve the puzzle. It gives you some information which could be
helpful in finding xywings and xwings. When you take this option,
a separate page is displayed with three tables. The first table
displays the cells with only two candidates (a candidate pair) and shades the
cells that are still "open". This can be useful for finding some, but
not all, wings.
The other two tables display a row and then a column scan of the data
displaying rows and columns which have only two occurrences of a
number. xwings are then easily identifiable. Check the graphics at the end of this documentation for
example of how this works.
Back
 Back allows you to go back one move. So, if you enter a wrong
number in a cell you can "erase" that and enter the correct
number. You must do this before you click on another cell, so be
sure you have entered the number you want before you go to the next cell.
Show  When you start a new puzzle, the candidates
lists in the cells are hidden. This is to make it easier to see the
values that you are entering and to work through the first couple of
rounds of solving. After that, you will
want to see the candidates because they will then be the main source for
solving the puzzle. Clicking Show will display the candidates as
shown in the picture at the very beginning of this guide. At the
same time, the option wording in the menu changes from "Show" to
"Hide". You can switch back and forth with this option as
much as you want.
Mode
 The default "mode" of The Player as described so far, is
called the "Brute Force" mode where you start with all nine
numbers in the candidate list and eliminate candidates as you work the
puzzle. The "Mode" option will switch you from Brute
Force mode to the "Scratch" mode. In Scratch mode, the
candidates list starts out empty and you work the puzzle by entering
numbers into the candidate list rather than eliminating them.
Scratch mode is similar to how many people work the puzzle on paper.
There are a number techniques for Scratch mode, just as there are
many for Brute Force mode. If you switch to Scratch mode, you should
stay in Scratch mode from that point on. If you go back to Brute
Force mode you should take the Reset option to reset the candidates lists.
