Late yesterday’s afternoon, I started to play around with my Excel file to develop a tool that will help me figure out my Sudoku puzzles faster and I succeeded! I actually designed something that will help me solve the easy puzzles. Please note the stress on the word easy. This file only works for easy puzzles. I’m going to continue testing the “easy” puzzles to see if they get harder and thus require additional “thought” in my file.
Here’s a link to download the file. (I’m still learning how to use this feature of embedding Excel file.)
The yellow areas are where you enter the numbers when trying to solve the puzzle. If you enter a bad number, it will flash red. If you scroll down to cell G26, you will see a tool that you can use to quickly see where the potentials are. Enter a number 1 through 9 in cell G26 and the little square section will show you potential areas where you can use that number. A number that lies by itself in a row or column is a good candidate to use in the puzzle. Note where it is located in that section and then go back up to the puzzle and place the number in the same position.
Column P and row 12 starts to come into play when you are approaching the end of the puzzle. When you have most of the squares in the row filled up, except for one, column P will pop up with the last number required to finish the row. Same thing happens in row 12 which shows what number to use for the column.
If you will note that in cells B3 and C3 there is something about “Lock”. Basically what it is doing is just applying the yellow colors to the squares that will be used for filling in your answers. It is useful to know which came in as part of the puzzle and which are your answers, in case you need to backtrack. You can even use this file for a different Sudoku puzzle. Instruction s for that are noted below the “Lock” section.
I will say though, if you are a Sudoku lover, I wouldn’t use this file because it makes solving the puzzle way too easy and it gets boring after a while. There is no fun in it anymore and the whole point was to use your brain in figuring it out. For me, the thrill lies in developing a tool to help me spot potential numbers faster than I would have done it. I would have eventually figure out the puzzle on my own, especially if classified as easy, but it would have taken me a lot longer. So the joy was in creating the Excel file. If I wanted the joy of solving puzzles, I would do so without the Excel file.