America's Best Sudoku:  How To Solve It

America's Best Sudoku: How To Solve It



hello welcome to an edition of cracking the cryptic where I'm going to look at the New York Times and sodoku we look at this puzzle every now and again prompted to be honest by your email so if we got a lot of emails requesting this puzzle then I will try and do it because it's it's actually my favorite of the daily Sudokus that are published all daily classic Sudokus that are published and of all of those around the world I think it's a very good standard in general and it normally requires some interesting logic to solve it so let's have a look at how we would do this one and now with the New York Times the first thing you should do in my opinion is to look for open shoots within boxes now what do I mean by that well my firt my eyes are immediately drawn to this top right box and these three cells you can see that we've got the numbers 1 2 & 4 in the box so I know these three cells are not the numbers 1 2 & 4 but I know I need to put the numbers 1 2 & 4 into Row 3 well is only because we've got a 7 of 9 in the row already because I've shown you four cells now that contain the numbers 1 2 & 4 so what I like to do is to have a quick scan down these columns see if I can see the numbers 1 2 & 4 because if I can I'll find a hidden triple straightaway without doing anything clever and here I can't but that doesn't mean it was wrong to do it so let's do the same thing down here in box 9 we've got 3 8 & 9 and an open file these three cells so 3 8 9 must appear in these four open cells in the rows and again nothing doing nothing doing bars still I do recommend that I think it's it's always worth a try with the New York Times puzzle so we're going to standard technique by which I mean I'll make little pencils on make little pencil marks in three by three blocks if a number can go in exactly two positions in the block and we'll see how far this takes us who's here look I don't tend to do this in any particular order some people like to go you know hit in in very rigorous order and one through to nine I do not do that I tend to just go in my eyes take me now and all the time I'm sort of logging information so as we go through here at the moment I'm I'm noticing things like there are not many 7s in the grid I mean – there are not many eighths in grid only – there are not many sixes in the grid only – and this is sort of building up a pattern as to where I'm probably going to be you know I need to focus attention on other numbers I guess now we have a nine here and a nine here so we get two pencil mark nines into those two squares and because of the nines in these two squares there's only one place a nine can go now in this bottom middle box and that's there and always try and work with what you've just done so this nine here it's is not that helpful in terms of nines but it does restrict this box obviously and now the twos become more interesting so before we had this nine I wouldn't have known a great deal about twos and what I would have known wouldn't have been very helpful but once there's ninth in the grid all of a sudden twos are now locked into exactly these two positions and now that means those two squares must be a 2 because of the 2 here and 2 in one of these two squares ah and there we go there is a triple now and now we've got these pencil marks here with twos and fives let's look at threes we've got a three here and three here so the threes in this central box have to go into the same cells that I've got these pencil marks in for the 295 I'll do it longhand so this is a triple now the numbers 2 3 & 5 occupy these three cells so no other numbers can go into these cells therefore these three cells must be 1 4 & 8 and with this 4 here this is a 4 that might be helpful so fools see what we can do anything else really these two cells now must be 1 an 8 put those in which means that's helpful baits and each in one of these two squares and this 8 mean this square must be an 8/8 into one of those two squares ones yeah ones are good as well because this these ones and this one interact on this block 4 so 1 into one of those two squares which means a one in one of those two positions no so you can see in row four here we need the numbers 2 7 and 9 but although these two squares are both doubles they're not reduced to single so but this feat is interesting because now we look to the 1 2 and the 4 of the start and you know the effect they have on Row 3 but this cell is now very restricted because we look at the contents of column 7 in fact I'm not sure it can be what can't be wild it can't be to this cell here to come to onetwo and County three four five can be six can't be seven eight or nine this square can only be a six that's that's that's very helpful because six six this square here must be a six now pencil mark sixes into these two squares because of this six and this six and that means this must be six and we get six nine pair now look at that in the bottom so that's also quite helpful okay so can we see anything more this for because the for now cannot go in either of these two squares because we know these two squares are exactly filled with the number six and nine the floors must be in one of these two positions in this block and that means the walls are in one of those two positions in this block which means this can't be at all that must be for there five here and this five here maybe whoops you get two pencil mark flies into those two squares and therefore one of these two positions threes this 3 and this 3 you mean one of those two squares is a three what next a good question six so what by the way what I'm doing here I know I suddenly gone silent but I'm trying to spot his weak areas of the grid so cell ah here we go if we look at column 4 you can see we've got six numbers so it's a very natural place to look for the next digit we need the numbers one five and eight well this square here sees a one on five so that must be an H so this is an 8 and 1 and 5 here just depends on markets at the top we marked ones into these two squares because of the three ones I just highlighted on this five now means this isn't advice this must be a five this must be a five because of the fives and these two squares and now I'm going to look at column eight because again I've got two six digits in this column I need two three and seven so this square sees a two and a certain so this square is a three which means now this is very nice because now this three is going to have a major impact on the pencil marks in this block look we now know this is a three but the moment I put this three in I'm taking up one of the pencil marks from the ones so I know that the other pencil mark must be true so I'm able to go 3-1 look now this is not a one so I mention I go one four five all immediately all without thinking and all simply of the back of the merlion logic that we've already done this to here now means this is a tune this is a seven this should be at nine because it needs to be to complete them the column this three means this is a three which means this is a five and this is two so again all of a sudden this book we've now done all the fives we've made a real flurry of progress this two here means that this can't be the two anymore this must be a seven to complete that row let's watch some settings into those two squares I've got the six nine pair here so this square will have to be a four and therefore this should be a seven and you can see I think we're on the home straight now we need a four into one of these two positions which must be this way around and now there must be four into one of these two squares which makes a nice to four pair so into the open positions in Row 3 I need the numbers one and eight where you can see this one here now means I can go like that which means this isn't a one anymore so one oops eight that should be a seven we can complete this with nine we need twos and sevens that just can't be three anymore twos and sevens I think we don't know the answer to those yet so that's 32 and seventeen like this this is the two or seven can't see how to resolve it let's just check now the if we look at row six oops need to do that we still need to put a nine if we have a nine here so the moment I place this nine I take the position of a six and unwind to prepare at the bottom get this change of front which is an idiosyncrasy of the New York Times software when the font changes it means you've done all of that number and I found that very disturbing the first time it happened now eighths must be in one of those two squares in this block look we need to still find a home for three so we can pencil mark threes in this state has a big effect on this block when combined with this eight that's going to force an eight into this square and that's going to allow us to back into the pencil marks at the bottom eight three four like that for two now this must be a two to seven I mean one and seven here so that must be this way around I think all sorts of things are changing font three three and six you can see I need six and seven so sort of it tells me what I need and there we go so that's how to do today's New York Times puzzle as use your quality quality puzzle I recommend it you know add it to your daily fodder you'll definitely improve at sodoku thanks for watching we'll be back soon with another edition crack encrypted

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16 Replies to “America's Best Sudoku: How To Solve It”

  1. As soon as the video loads, I load the puzzle and go as far as I can. Then I play just enough of the video to get to the next turning point. This is helping me learn how to spot key moments in the solve. Very informative! Only needed 3 such moments to crack this puzzle.

  2. Nineteen and a half minutes. I'm quite happy with that, considering that I'm sick and using my phone instead of my pc.

  3. thank for posting. I solved this last night (the new puzzle posts "from the future" at 9pm for me in Texas) and solved it the exact way you did finding that hidden triple early on. only difference is you are twice as fast as me at finding these things ha!

  4. I like the font changing thing, wish it was implemented as an option for the Cracking the Cryptic software!

  5. This for me was quite the exercise as I kept missing the obvious. Like naked singles.
    I could have done it a lot faster than the 36 minutes but I had to keep going back to the video to catch what I should have been able to see.

  6. I'm pretty lazy with the NYT sudoku and always use the auto notation at the top… helps me when I forget to remove notations later and the puzzle usually goes pretty fast

  7. funny you post it the second I finished it. I found a 1-8 pair in the middle box and it solved the entire puzzle for me in 18 mins.

  8. Thanks for doing this one. I missed the candidate 9s in the bottom left. That gives the 9 in r7c6 and it’s plain sailing from there.

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