Sudoku is a simple game of logic, whose name originated in Japan. The object is to complete the grid such that every row, every column, and every 3x3 block contains the digits from 1 to 9. No mathematics is required to solve the puzzles, just pure logic and reasoning.
When your cursor is on the Sudoku grid, it can be navigated in the following way:
- Ctrl + Arrows
Move around the grid
Auto pencil marks
Show a pinned square
- Shift + #
Show squares with a <#>
The key choices may seem unusual, but the navigation has to avoid key presses that are reserved for the browser, for example we couldn't use CTRL+1 to highlight all squares that contain a <1> as this is opens the first window in Firefox, nor SHIFT+P as it is reserved for printing, etc.
There are six levels of difficulty and various techniques are potentially required to solve each level, however, any particular Sudoku doesn't necessarily require all possible techniques for that level. The difficulty level is also very tricky to gauge as one person may find certain techniques easier than others. Almost certainly the hardest of one level will be harder than the easiest of the next level up, so there is a certain amount of crossover between the levels. Each BrainBashers Sudoku has a list of the techniques required to solve the Sudoku, some of which you may not use, as you may spot something which changes the solution path.
The key 'Backspace' has a reserved action, and in many browsers it acts as a 'Back' button. This may mean that your browser will go back a page, and leave the Sudoku Assistant, if you are not careful with its use. We suggest that you only use the 'Delete' key to remove numbers.
- Pencil marks
You can enter more than one digit into each square. The size of the digits changes as you enter more digits in each square.
- Auto pencil marks
The system can fill in the pencil marks for you automatically. Each square is checked to see what numbers can possibly go there, if only one possibility remains, then that number is filled in. You can manually change the pencil marks and run the option as many times as you like without affecting your logical deductions. For difficulties above Medium it also auto-runs until no board changes take place. When using the blank or loaded assistant for non-BrainBashers Sudoku, remember that auto pencil marks might complete the Sudoku for you and spoil the fun, however it doesn't auto-run, so you may have to keep clicking it as the system changes the board.
- Show errors
If this option is selected, correct numbers are shown in green and incorrect ones in red. This is mainly for beginners, but is also useful for checking your progress mid-solution. This is only available for BrainBashers Sudoku. The system only looks at squares with a single digit, and does not consider the validity of the pencil marks.
- Show duplicates
If this option is selected, duplicates in a row, column or 3x3 block are shown in yellow.
- Show squares with a ...
All pencil marked squares that contain the selected number will be highlighted. This is very useful when looking for a number which is missing from a row, column or 3x3 block.
- Show a pinned square
If one of the rows, columns or 3x3 blocks contains exactly one instance of a number, all pencil marked squares that contain this number will be highlighted in green, with the pinned square highlighted in yellow. This is very useful for finding pinned squares. If no row, column or 3x3 block contains a pinned square, any highlights will be removed. This option requires some pencil marks on the grid.
- Show techniques required
This option will show you which of the techniques are required to solve the current BrainBashers Sudoku.
You can print the Sudoku in two sizes, either as the current grid with all of your workings (with or without your pencil marks), or as the starting grid.
You can save your current Sudoku into a cookie and load it whenever you want. However, your current Sudoku will be lost and you will not be able to 'Show Errors' nor 'Show Answer' as the system will not know which Sudoku you actually saved, only the board as it was. 'Auto pencil marks' will not auto-run, and you will need cookies enabled on your browser.
You can email the current grid to a friend (or indeed yourself). Any pencil marks will also be saved. The system will save a copy of the board on the site, and it can be retrieved using the link in the email. There is also an option to email the Sudoku to us, if you'd like some assistance, or you think there's a problem.
Undo takes the Sudoku grid back to just before an auto pencil marks was run and there are unlimited levels of undo.
Use BrainBashers Sudoku
You may freely use BrainBashers Sudoku for your newspaper, newsletter, magazine, website, etc, subject to the guidelines that can be found here.