The Ilusive 6

Aug 2022

sudoku hide and seek

The following scenario happened to me on a medium sudoku a few days ago, and I thought that it can be interesting to share, especially with the beginner and less advanced sudku players.

First let's show and describe the initial situation and what I was solving for:

the ilusive 6 sudoku starting point

I was trying to find the missing 6 at the top middle box.
If you're up for a small challenege, stop here and try to see if you can find it by yourself!

Fonud it? Well done!
Either way, you are probably curious if we did it the same way.

My Initial Approach

As always, my first attempt to solve for a digit in any sudoku board, is to search for other instances of the same digit, 6 in this case, and see if they can give me enough certainty to fill that number in the box I am solving for.

As you can see, this time it wasn't enough to be certain on where the 6 should go:

the ilusive 6 initial approach

We know that it has to be in the 3rd row, because the third row on the left box is full, and doesn't hold a 6, but still can't be sure if its in the left or center cell, are you as thrilled as I am by now?

A Different Sudoku Angle

The next thing I did was to change my approach.
I saw that in the bottom sudoku row, I'm missing only two digits to complete that row, and the digits are 6 ( which I don't know where to place) and 8, but which goes where?

focus on the sudoku row

Now we know that if we can place the 8, we will be able to comfortably place the 6 as well and solve that riddle!

So again, I go about solving for 8 in the same 3x3 box according to my first instinct - find other 8's who can tell me where not to place my 8 - so that I will know where I am allowed to place it.
And voilĂ  are you seeing what I see? :

8 is gonna help

It's clear that the 8 can't go in the center cell and hence it has to be in the left cell.
This leaves only the center cell for our ilusive 6 to go in, and thats it - problem solved!

Sudoku challenge solved!

Thanks for reading I hope to see you back here, and if you're up for a quick sudoku challenge click here!