Everytime someone sees me doing Sudoku, I get requests to explain the process.
When I started doing Sudoku I simply read that first book intro instructions. “one to nine” in each square, row, and column. It was a way to pass time, while standing in line or waiting at a doctors’ office. It was a sporadic habit until I reached harder puzzles that required several sessions over several days to complete. At different times along the process, I “discovered” certain patterns I had not seen before. I started writing clues to the numbers at the edges of the puzzle to help me remember. Eventually, I learned to write the clues within the puzzle and only if there were certain patterns.
I remember waiting at Burbank airport, and another woman approached me and in our conversation she explained that she travelled for a large insurance company. She had used Sudoku as a means to increase her learning focus. She felt she owed part of her promotion to her Sudoku practice.
From that point, I was just determined to use Sudoku as a method of increasing focus, and to try and do one puzzle every day as an exercise. It took me a couple of years before I realized certain patterns in the math, and increase focus and speed.
Here is a (30min.) talking through the Sudoku process
- Use a pen in a different color ink from the book you are using. It will be easier to distinguish what you have filled in, from the original
- Only write in number clues when they occur as a pair within a row or column for a specific square
- Look for “what is missing” for columns and rows.
- At times, when you are stuck and there seems like no solution…get up and walk away for awhile. I can not tell you how many times I have left a puzzle and come back and find the solution in plain view. (this also helps in programming.)
- Don’t give up. There were times in my process, when I could not fathom the pattern but continued to work through until the pattern emerged. There is no short cut to this process.