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Oh no, I hear you cry, not another sudoku program!!!

Well, yes... but this one is, I hope, slightly different to those that are proliferating about the internet at the moment. For a start, I call it the Sudoku Assistant - not solver or generator. So what does it do?

Here's a list:

  • It does not generate puzzles itself - however, it does allow you to set up ones that have already been published elsewhere.
  • It does not solve them itself. Why? Well, that takes all the fun out of doing them in the first place. You'll get more satisfaction if you solve a puzzle yourself.
  • Setting up the 'start' numbersIt does help you to solve them and it does this on several customisable levels.
  • It allows you to mark up the possible numbers in a cell and to optionally automatically remove them once another cell in the same row, column or box has been confirmed.
  • It optionally highlights clashes where the wrong value has been selected for a cell.
  • It makes less of a mess than trying to use a pencil and a rubber (or eraser, depending upon which side of the Atlantic you are on ;-).
  • It is simple to use - ok, for a single-mouse-button Mac user it's not quite so simple as it differentiates between left and right mouse button clicks but, hey, you can't have everything!
  • The initial numbers are now 'fixed'It's a Java applet written to work with the oldest versions of Java so you shouldn't have any problems no matter which browser you use - unless you've got Java turned off!
  • There are two sizes of board - small and large - use whichever one fits your screen best.

Ok, so how is it used?

  1. First of all, find yourself a sudoku puzzle you want to solve.
  2. Right click on all the numbers given in the puzzle to replace the set of small 1-9 numbers in each cell with a large one.
  3. Once you have done that then click the Fix button. This will make those numbers unchangeable so that you can't mess things up accidentally.
  4. Optionally click the Num Fill button to show which numbers can possibly fill the unused cells. Alternatively, you can left-click the small numbers manually to show which numbers can possibly fill a cell. The small numbers will toggle between their faded and normal states when you left-click them.
  5. After the 'Num fill' button has been clickedIf you want the program to automatically remove the small highlighted numbers from cells when other cells have been filled in then tick the Auto remove numbers checkbox.
  6. If you don't want to be warned when you get clashes (i.e. you place the same number in a row, column or box) then untick the Show clashes checkbox.
  7. Now solve the puzzle by right clicking the small numbers.
  8. Use the Highlight Numbers option to highlight all identical numbers when you hover the mouse over one of the small numbers.
  9. The Clear Non-fixed button will remove any numbers that are not part of the original set of start (fixed) numbers. The Clear button will remove all the numbers. Both buttons will ask you to confirm before they wipe out your game!

And that's all there is - go to the next page and start playing!