Learning Sudoku Teaching Assistant and Sudoku Patterns

Here is a suggested method to use the Sudoku Teaching Assistant to learn how to solve Sudoku.  Use this to teach yourself Sudoku, or help teach Sudoku to your kids or students.  Once you learn Sudoku, you have a good alternative way to spend the time that you may be wasting otherwise, such as while waiting in a doctor's office.  There are many free Sudoku programs available for your mobile device that can keep you mentally challenged.

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Method

  1. Start with an easy built-in Sudoku Puzzle such as puzzle #1.  Click on the  Built-in Puzzle  button and enter 1 to get this puzzle.  You can work  your way up to more advanced puzzles later. People who are already quite familiar with Sudoku puzzles can choose a more advanced puzzle.
  2. Learn what the  Show All Candidates  and  Hide All Candidates  buttons do.  Then learn how to reveal the candidates in a range of cells - such as one row, one column, or one box - by using the  Show Candidates  button.  For example, select one row with your mouse or keyboard, and click on the   Show Candidates  button.
  3. Pick a row that seems to have the most number of solved cells.  Reveal the candidates in this row using the   Show Candidates  button.   See if you can find pattern 1 (single candidate) or pattern 2 (naked single) in this row.   If you do not know what these patterns are, click on Sudoku Pattern 1: Naked Singles and Sudoku Pattern 2: Hidden Singles and come back to this step.   If you find the solution to a cell on this row, click on that cell.  A number pad will pop up.   Click on the solution value and then click Solve.
  4. Repeat above step for all rows, columns and boxes till you have found all the Single Candidate and Naked Single patterns that you can find.
  5. Now use the computer to verify that you have not missed any.  Show all candidates on the puzzle - then click on the   1. Naked Singles  button and the   2. Hidden Singles  button.  If the computer finds any, the corresponding cells will be highlighted in the puzzle, and the associated Solve button will be enabled.  You may choose to have computer solve them by clicking on the Solve button, or or you may solve them yourself using the number pad.
  6. Once you have mastery over the two basic patterns above, learn the other patterns (click on the  Help/About/License  button and read the Patterns section of Help or click on the links below).  While learning, try to solve yourself first before getting assistance from the computer.

Patterns (click one of the links below to learn more about that pattern)

  Naked Singles     Hidden Singles   Locked Candidates
Naked Pairs
Hidden Pairs
 
   (others to be added..)
 

Entering Your own Puzzle

To enter your own Sudoku Puzzle, click on the  Clear Puzzle  button and use the Quick entry method described in the dialog box.  Alternately, you can enter values into the cells directly. After entering all values, click on the  Set As New Puzzle  button.

Using the Snapshot Feature

At any point if you want to "try something" but be able to later discard your changes, click on  Save Snapshot . You can restore to the last saved snapshot by clicking on  Restore Snapshot . You can go back multiple levels.

Using the Auto-Solve Feature

Once you have mastered some of the easy steps (example: steps 1 and 2), you may wish to have the computer automatically perform these steps for you. To do this, click on the   Auto-Solve  button. By default it will solve steps 1 and 2 but this may be changed by clicking on the   Set Auto-Solve Level  button. You can solve the harder steps manually and continue using Auto-Solve to handle the easier steps.