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Posted on: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:47 pm

Posts: 422
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
I've seen posts here and there about personal methods, but I'd like to know which methods are more common. Your response might be something along these lines:

Method 1: solve entirely online
Method 2: print puzzle and solve on paper
Method 3: use Excel
Method 4: combination of above or other

Any further details would be helpful (ie. how bold option is used, how exactly Excel is used, pen or pencil, whether different methods are used for easier or harder puzzles, etc.)

Posted on: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:57 pm

Posts: 422
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Re: Your Personal Method
I mainly use Method 1 (solve online) but also use Excel to do some calculations for big numbers like for exponentiation and to also keep track of possibilities.

I use bold option mostly from 8x8 puzzles onwards. I input numbers in a cage when I know for certain it should be in the cage and use bold when I know for certain the location of that number.

Posted on: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:37 pm

Posts: 20
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 7:17 pm
Re: Your Personal Method
I pretty much just solve straightforward as much as I can. Only especially big puzzles I print out and solve on paper. I never use the bolding function. As far as solving techniques go, I might make a seperate post about my solving strategy sometime, when I have more time

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Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:23 am

Posts: 43
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 4:03 am
Re: Your Personal Method
I solve on the screen the 4's, the 5 E&M, 6 E&M. I print out 5 & 6 Diffs and everything larger. I used to use pen but the larger ones got to be too much of a mess, so I switched to pencil (and eraser!). I haven't learned to use the bold.

On the larger puzzles, I sometimes isolate the 'problem children,' the ones who don't play well with others. Those are 5, 7, and 11 ... which actually turn out to be very helpful, because in multiplication and division there are generally fewer cages that will accommodate those. It helps me to narrow down the ones that will or won't take those numbers because that often narrows the options for the other numbers.

Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:46 am

Posts: 175
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:11 am
Re: Your Personal Method
I generally solve everything from 4x4 to the easy 8x8 online, and then any beyond that that I do I generally have to print to work out.

Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:47 am

Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:57 am
Re: Your Personal Method
I solve everything online.
With larger puzzles (> 6x6) I use Excel for listings of possible values and sometimes total rows or columns counts.
Green is used as correct value but unknown place.
Saved a puzzle at the moment where I have to guess.

Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:25 pm

Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:23 am
Re: Your Personal Method
I solve every puzzle online and use pen and paper as a help to break down large numbers into smaller ones. I use excel as a help for the exponential puzzles for the big numbers. As for the bitwise OR puzzles (which I think are great fun) I still write down the bitwise representation of 1 to 8.

I use the bold/green when I'm certain of the numbers in a cage but not their position (Only in rows and columns).

I agree with rossiniman on looking for 5's, 7's and 11's. In general looking for extreme large, extreme small and unique number combinations in any puzzle is a good starting point.

Posted on: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:18 pm

Posts: 13
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 9:44 am
Re: Your Personal Method
When the puzzles are printed out and possible values entered in squares it is quite common to get a situation like this:

26 .. .. .. 56
..
26 .. .. .. 56

This tells you that two squares in one column contain either a 2 or a 6 and two squares in another column contain either a 5 or a 6. Less obvious is that the 6's in each of the two rows have to be in either one of the two squares and not somewhere else in the row. I believe Sudoku players call this an X-wing or something similar.

Posted on: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 9:47 pm
Re: Your Personal Method
I solve everything online. Occasionally I use a calculator when factoring large numbers. I save progress from time to time, especially before having to go into exploratory mode.

Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:11 pm

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:05 pm
Re: Your Personal Method
Like duffifi, I solve everything online, with the occasional assistance of pen/paper/calculator for larger multiplication situations. I will also use paper for eliminating options when I have multiple possibilities. Hard to explain.

Fortunately, at this stage of my life, I am able to keep track by remembering cage solutions in other puzzle areas. For e.g., I may know that 7x8 is 56, but not which goes where. I know to go back to it when I have enough information. Eventually, I may need to use other techniques.

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