# The Simple Trick For Hard Sudokus

TLDRIn this episode of 'Cracking the Cryptic,' the host tackles a challenging classic Sudoku puzzle, deemed a favorite by viewer Kevin Morford. The puzzle, from the book 'Extreme Sudoku,' initially appears complex with 25 given digits, but the host unravels it using strategic techniques like hidden pairs and offsetting numbers. The solution process reveals the elegance in the puzzle's design, highlighting the satisfaction of solving a difficult yet solvable Sudoku without resorting to computer assistance.

###### Takeaways

- π§© The video features a classic Sudoku puzzle suggested by a viewer, Kevin Morford, from the book 'Extreme Sudoku'.
- π€ The puzzle is considered challenging due to its high number of given digits (25), which is above the classic minimum (17), hinting at a potentially difficult solve.
- π« The video emphasizes a preference for puzzles that can be solved without computer assistance or complex techniques like 'Bowman's Bingo' or 'Bifurcation'.
- π The video also discusses a completed competition to solve a 'brutal puzzle' created by Sam Kaplan, with submissions now being judged.
- π₯ Patreon content is mentioned, including a bonus video where Sam Kaplan solves his own puzzle, showcasing his intelligence and fluency in explaining difficult concepts.
- π The video promotes an ongoing Kickstarter campaign for creating a Sudoku book, with backers unlocking content such as blind solves of new puzzles.
- π² The strategy for solving the puzzle involves scanning for restricted possibilities and looking for patterns like 'hidden pairs' among numbers.
- π The video highlights the importance of efficient pencil marking and the potential pitfalls of over-marking the grid.
- π‘ A key insight from the video is the identification of a '237' pattern and the interaction between numbers that leads to a breakthrough in the solve.
- π The puzzle, despite its initial complexity, is eventually solved using a combination of observation, pattern recognition, and Sudoku techniques.
- π The host expresses admiration for the elegance of the puzzle and anticipates viewer feedback, indicating that the puzzle's difficulty may vary depending on the solver's approach.

###### Q & A

### What is the source of the puzzle discussed in the video?

-The puzzle discussed in the video comes from a book called 'Extreme Sudoku' and was suggested by a viewer named Kevin Morford.

### Why does the presenter mention that finding classic Sudoku puzzles can be difficult?

-The presenter mentions that finding classic Sudoku puzzles can be difficult because as they get more difficult, they often require computer assistance to be solvable, which goes against the preference for puzzles that can be solved with human cunning and without specialized techniques like Bifurcation or Bowman's Bingo.

### How many digits are given in this particular Sudoku puzzle?

-There are 25 given digits in this particular Sudoku puzzle.

### What is the significance of the number of given digits in the puzzle?

-The number of given digits is significant because it is well over the minimum for a classic Sudoku, which is 17. This unusually high number of givens might suggest that the puzzle might not be too hard, but the presenter notes that the actual difficulty depends on the puzzle's structure and the techniques required to solve it.

### What is the presenter's strategy for pencil marking in classic Sudoku?

-The presenter's strategy for pencil marking in classic Sudoku is to only mark in boxes if a digit can go in exactly two positions. They do not allow themselves the luxury of considering three positions or more when working on classic puzzles.

### What is a 'hidden pair' in Sudoku and how does it help in solving the puzzle?

-A 'hidden pair' in Sudoku refers to a situation where two numbers can only fit into two specific cells in a row or column, but not by focusing on the cells themselves. Identifying a hidden pair can help eliminate other possible numbers in those cells, aiding in solving the puzzle.

### What is the 'slot machine' technique mentioned in the video?

-The 'slot machine' technique mentioned in the video is a method used in Sudoku to identify patterns where digits seem to be offset, not overlapping in a set of three columns or rows. This technique can help in spotting potential pencil markings and narrowing down the possible numbers for those columns or rows.

### What is the presenter's opinion on the elegance of the puzzle?

-The presenter finds the puzzle to be very elegant, especially because of the way the numbers 2, 3, and 7 interact with each other in the grid, creating a complex but solvable pattern.

### What is the presenter's approach to solving the puzzle?

-The presenter's approach to solving the puzzle involves scanning the digits, looking for restrictions and patterns, identifying hidden pairs, and using the interactions between numbers like 2s, 3s, and 7s to progressively eliminate possibilities and find the solution.

### What is the significance of the '237' mentioned in the video?

-The '237' mentioned in the video refers to a specific pattern or technique that the presenter uses to solve the puzzle. It is not explicitly defined in the transcript, but it seems to be a shorthand for a particular strategy or observation that aids in solving the puzzle.

### How does the presenter describe the difficulty of the puzzle without spotting the key pairs?

-The presenter describes the difficulty of the puzzle without spotting the key pairs as an 'absolute nightmare', suggesting that the puzzle would be extremely challenging to solve without identifying the hidden pairs and the interactions between the numbers 2, 3, and 7.

###### Outlines

##### π₯ Introduction to the Cryptic Puzzle

The video begins with a warm welcome to the Sunday edition of 'Cracking the Cryptic' and introduces a classic Sudoku puzzle suggested by viewer Kevin Morford. The host expresses the significance of this puzzle, as it's described as Kevin's favorite from his book 'Extreme Sudoku.' The discussion highlights the challenge of finding elegant classic puzzles that don't require computer assistance or complex techniques, and the host shares initial impressions about the difficulty level of the puzzle, mentioning that it has 25 given digits, which is above the minimum for a classic Sudoku.

##### π Initial Analysis and Strategy

The host delves into the initial analysis of the Sudoku puzzle, noting the presence of many given digits and the potential difficulty this poses. The strategy involves pencil marking boxes where a digit can go in exactly two positions, and the host expresses concern over the offset pencil marks that suggest complications ahead. The discussion includes references to techniques like Derek Neal's slot machine method and the importance of identifying patterns and restrictions across rows and columns.

##### π§© Identifying Patterns and Hidden Pairs

The host continues to examine the puzzle, focusing on the interaction between the numbers two, three, and seven across the grid. The identification of a hidden pair of threes and sevens in a particular row is a significant breakthrough, allowing the elimination of these numbers from certain cells. The host emphasizes the importance of considering the effects of hidden pairs on both rows and columns, and the summary highlights the methodical process of using these pairs to make progress in solving the puzzle.

##### π‘ Progress and Puzzle Dynamics

As the puzzle-solving progresses, the host identifies more patterns and hidden pairs, particularly focusing on the numbers two and seven. The central box becomes a point of interest due to the repetition of patterns involving these numbers. The host uses the identified pairs to eliminate possibilities and make deductions, leading to a clearer path towards solving the puzzle. The summary outlines the dynamic interplay between the numbers and the strategic use of observed patterns.

##### π Solving the Puzzle and Reflecting on its Elegant Design

The host successfully solves the puzzle, highlighting the elegance and the strategic use of the numbers two, three, and seven that made it particularly fascinating. The reflection on why this puzzle might be a viewer's favorite is also discussed, attributing its appeal to the challenge and satisfaction of solving a cryptic puzzle without resorting to complex techniques. The host expresses curiosity about viewer reactions and invites engagement in the comments section.

###### Mindmap

###### Keywords

##### π‘Classic Sudoku

##### π‘Puzzle Solving

##### π‘Hidden Pairs

##### π‘Offset Digits

##### π‘Sudoku Techniques

##### π‘Pencil Marks

##### π‘Extreme Sudoku

##### π‘Sam Kaplan

##### π‘Kickstarter Campaign

##### π‘Crossword Content

##### π‘Patron

###### Highlights

The puzzle is suggested by Kevin Morford, described as his favorite classic Sudoku.

The puzzle originates from the book 'Extreme Sudoku'.

The channel rarely features classic Sudoku puzzles due to the difficulty in finding elegant ones.

Classic puzzles often require computer assistance as they increase in difficulty.

The puzzle has 25 given digits, which is above the minimum for a classic Sudoku.

The host's approach involves scanning digits and looking for restrictions to place pencil marks efficiently.

The presence of offset pencil marks suggests potential difficulties in solving the puzzle.

The technique of looking for hidden pairs is discussed, which is crucial for solving the puzzle.

The alignment of threes and sevens is a key observation for progress.

The central box's pattern of twos and sevens is highlighted as interesting and relevant.

The elimination of digits through the identification of hidden pairs is a significant step forward.

The puzzle's elegance is in the interaction between different numbers across the grid.

The importance of tracking the positions of fours and threes is noted.

The puzzle becomes easier once the offsetting pairs are utilized effectively.

The solve reveals the elegance of the puzzle and the effectiveness of spotting the 237 and 237 pairs.

The host expresses curiosity about why this is Kevin's favorite Sudoku and anticipates engaging comments from viewers.

The solve concludes with the host's reflections on the puzzle's elegance and the satisfaction of solving it.

###### Transcripts

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