Puzzle Reviews

BASIC —————————————-

Nikoli               X-treme

9/9/14   Nikoli’s X-treme Sudoku     Starts the basic clinic. Review table. Review of 2-D trace reading.

9/23/14 X-treme Hidden Treasures   Naked and Hidden Subsets from review puzzles

Dave Green   King Feature Sunday 5-stars

10/14/14   Green Pastures       Traces for Sunday 6/22/14 with and without the bypass.

10/21/14   Basic by Our Fingernails     A very stingy Green 5-star, but two X-wings and a naked triple rescue us from a tough line marking

10/28/14   Just one More Dave Green    Four bell patterns in the given clues are typical Green. Just short of advanced, this one is dropped by a naked quad.

Wayne Gould   Fiendish – Train Your Brain

11/04/14   Gould’s Not So Fiendish  Fiendish solved with no pencil marks (NPM), review table and a defense of pencil marks

11/11/14 Fiendish NPM Wins and Loses     NPM on an almost advanced fiendish. Slink marking backs up the bypass.

Tom Sheldon    Master Class

2/05/13   Grading the Master Class    Overall evaluation and review table

2/12/13   Tom Sheldon on Sudoku Solving       A highlight hidden quad

2/19/13   Snapshots from Master Class          Line mark X-wing gets a naked quad, a challenge to find a naked triple, two simultaneous X-wings in line marking, two instructive UR, and from Sheldon’s Twilight Zone, two super XY-chains, and an unusual Sue de Coq verification erases three XY –chains and a swordfish

Will Shortz   Beware! Very Challenging

6/25/13   Shortz’ Ferocious Falls Short     8 of 10 are Basic, one goes to dueling XYZ-wings and XY chains.

7/09/13   Shortz’ Trickiest Bewares?    “Checking the Beware! Very Challenging” brand. It’s basic except one finishing with an XY-chain.

Xaq Pitkow Sudoku v.3 Expert

1/14/14   Xaq Pitkow’s Expert Collection     Inconsistently borderline advanced

 

ADVANCED ——————————–

Will Shortz   Beware! Very Challenging

7/02/13   A Ferocious Hall of Mirrors      Beware 190 demands XYZ-wing, finned swordfish, AIC , and   nice loop coloring, but is found to have 11 solutions. The technique of analysis is revealed.

 

Wayne Gould   Fiendish – Train Your Brain

11/18/14   The Fiendish 100 BUG-gy Maze   Multiple solutions – at least 12 – are uncovered by coloring trials.

 

Xaq Pitkow Sudoku v.3 Grand Master and Super Grand Master

1/21/14   Pitkow’s Grand Master Sudoku    Review table careens form Basic to Extreme. Impressive grouped forcing chain XYZ victims, and APE.

1/28/14 Advancing through GM 5               XY chains. A graphic SdC verification for a decisive SdC.

2/4/14   The Orphans of GM 95                   Imbalance of candidates is graphically demonstrated, then a judicious freeform identifying a host of orphans. A valuable clue to monster hunting.

2/11/14 Pitkow’s Super Grand Masters     Interesting but not a level above GM. XYZ by forcing chain. Then two rare events: a cluster candidate proves both colors of another cluster, wrapping itself, followed by a six node remote pair.

2/18/14   Two Colorful Super Grand Masters   SGM 20 offers a skyscraper, a hard SdC verification, a tight XY, then trips over a regular XYZ-wing. SGM 25, a two way bridging wrap.

 

Paul Stephens   Weeks and Addicts Collections

5/28/13 Paul Stephens’ Extremes Review   Review table and endorsement

6/04/13   Stephens Extremes Snapshots I     UR, fish, coloring highlights

6/11/13   Stephens Extremes Snapshots II     Color wrap, forcing chain XYZ, finned fish

6/18/13   Stephens’ Extremes Snapshots III UR color merge, UR by AIC and forcing chain, finned X-wing, color wrap, and naked triple finish.

 

Frank Longo     Absolute Nasty 4

2/26/13   Absolutely Nasty Level 4 Review     Review table and endorsement

3/5/13       Absolutely Nasty 4 Snaps I               XY looping railroad, weird ANL, an ALS assisted AIC assisted APE! finned fish => naked triple

3/12/13   Absolutely Nasty 4 Snaps II             Regular XYZ dissolves a BUG. A nine solution mistake.

KrazyDad   Super Tough

3/19/13   KrazyDad Super Tough Review      Review table, endorsement, ST 515 color wrap and UR, XYZ and XY

3/26/13   KrazyDad Super Tough Snapshots Twin Grouped ER XYZ, twin finned fish, twin finned fish, double finned X-wing, Kraken X-wing with remote pair

4/2/13     KrazyDad Super Coloring              ST 585: multiple ANL, strange trap, deadly bridge, then a merge. Final endorsement.


EXTREME ————————————–

KrazyDad   Insane

7/16/13 The Insane Review Begins   Insane 415 demonstratess cluster extension by pattern analysis

7/23/13   Cluster Merge by Pattern Coloring   ER XYZ in 415, then cluster merge on 425

7/30/13   Introducing Pink Olive Analysis         Pattern slicing is introduced in Insane 425

8/6/13     Insane 435 Knockout in the Third       Grouped ANL and grouped XYZ victims

8/13/13   An Insane 445 Pattern Squeeze         APE to XYZ to UR reduces limited patterns to one

8/20/13   Insane 455 Does a Twisting Pink Olive Dive   Persistent pattern analysis includes LPO and changing freeform direction

8/27/13   Nice Loop Coloring of Insane 465     Introduces nice loop color cluster. Uses a Stuart unit forcing chain

9/03/13   Sue de Coq Trials of Insane 475     Introduces trial trace, for a Sue de Coq verification. Two verified SdC fail to conquer 475, but produce a long AIC chain. The trial of the AIC will add a complete pattern to its clues if it succeeds.

9/17/13   Pattern Trials of Insane 475         The AIC trial fails, then a pink/olive trial slices off two patterns, and four orphans. A second pattern slice retires 475.

9/24/12   A Bridge Over Insane 485             An advanced level breather with a nice illustration of the cluster bridge.

10/01/13 Verified SdC Earn a Fishing Trip  Advancing on Insane 495 with two SdC verifications and a super swordfish

10/08/13 LPO Lettering on Insane 495     No pink olive toe holds, and I revert to the more precise lettering for LPO conflict analysis.

10/15/13 Grinding Down Insane 495 with LPO Coloring Pattern coloring shortcuts a finned X-wing, and is extended by a nice loop, then pink/olive analysis merges two clusters , but Insane 495 still requires a trial.

10/22/13 An Insane Review is Completed   Two Sue de Coq are verified, the first by unit forcing chains. The second continues to the solution, while the SdC’s removals do not. The Insane review table is here.

Antoine Alary

2/20/15   How Extreme is More Extreme? Not so much.  Review table. Basic checkpoint on More Extreme 64;

2/27/15  A Little More Extreme  More Extreme 4 with a clinic on regular and irregular XYZ, XYZ map and finding process, and a simple railroad.

3/03/15  Alary at His Stingiest  A tough line marking of More Extreme 104 and a kindly escape via X-chain.

3/03/15  Smooth Navigation in Rocky Terrain  A highlight review puzzle .   A naked triple in line marking, a finned swordfish and two way X-chain share victims. Pattern analysis extends a cluster, and a polarity ANL is spotted, but a color trial solves More Extreme 84.

3/10/15  Just One More “More Extreme”   Concluding the review with another parade of highlights, is More Extreme 144. It steps off with a naked quad.  Then a finned swordfish poses a problem in kraken analysis for readers. Then a two-pattern X-panel makes for an easy wrap, and the surviving army inflicts a fatal naked triple.

3/17/15  Taking on More Extreme 200   Antoine throws down the gauntlet, identifying More Extreme 200 as the toughest of the toughest.  In the first round of my reply, a double value finned X-wing and a pink-olive pattern slice sets the stage for readers to follow up.

3/24/15  Finishing More Extreme 200   A second pattern slice brings a 5 member conjugate pair chain and the collapse rains naked pairs. Wow!

5/05/15  Fick Tricks More Extreme 200  But wait!  An independently minded Sysudoku reader does a mini trial based on a doubly common ALS pair. Its a judo move, turning the slippery structure of 200 against it.

Weekly Extreme Competition

3/31/15  Weekly Extreme 426 Trials  WEC players are warmly invited to this review of consecutive puzzles from the competition.  Basic solving is traced and sysudokie methods illustrated in this series, beginning with 426. A Sue de Coq verification and grouped forcing chain winks lead to a cluster merge, and a decisive color trial.

4/07/15  A Colorful Verification Creams Wex 427  Collapse is threatened in line marking, and a Sue de Coq verification trial stalls, but a color bridging wrap saves the trial and defeats the puzzle.

4/14/15  Sue Defeats the Slippery Wex 428  Sysudokie elements are juggled again.  The logic of the single alternative Sue de Coq is detailed for new readers.  The verification trial is saved, this time, by a naked triple.  This enables an irregular XYZ wing, which drops its mask to reveal a remote pair!

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