7. Which numbers are missing in Column 9?
8. If you said 6, 8, and 9, you're correct! If you try the 6 in each of the remaining vacant boxes in Column 9, you'll see that it can go anywhere at this point. So try the 8 next. Can it go in Row 2 of Block 3?
9. If you answered No, again you're correct. Row 2 already contains an 8 within Block 2. Can the 8 go in Row 5 of Block 6?
10. If you answered Yes, you're right. Block 6 doesn't already contain an 8, and there is no 8 currently in Row 5. But don't put it in just yet – there's one more vacant box in Column 9 you need to eliminate first. Can the 8 go in Row 6 of Block 6?
11. No, it can't because Row 6 already contains an 8. That means that the 8 must go in Row 5 of Column 9 (R5/C9). Let's add it to the puzzle:
12. You still need a 6 and a 9 in Column 9 and you have only two vacant boxes in the column now – one in Row 2 and one in Row 6. Can you pinpoint the location for either the 6 or the 9?
13. When you try the 6, you'll see that there's nothing eliminating it from either vacant box in Column 9. But what about the 9?
14. If you answered that the 9 cannot be placed on Row 6 because Row 6 already contains a 9, you're correct. Therefore, the 9 must go in Row 2 of Column 9. With only one vacant box left in Column 9, you've now determined the location for the 6 through the process of elimination:
15. Congratulations! You've solved Column 9 in its entirety! You're on your way to Sudoku mastery!
As you continue to work through your puzzles, keep the following points in mind:
· There's no need to guess. If you haven't eliminated a box to a single possible number, keep looking.
· You can work vertically, horizontally, or within a block, you should get accustomed to working all 3 ways and keep them in mind if it seems like you're stuck.
· In the process of completing the puzzle, you'll need to jump from block to block.
· If you make a mistake and end up with two of the same numbers in a row, column, or block, look around before you give up and start over. Can you move one of the duplicates to another location that's allowed and be able to continue?
· Don't forget to look at the big picture. It helps to be able to notice what's already in adjacent rows, columns and blocks, like you did in Steps 2 and 3 of this tutorial. Sudoku takes a keen eye, too!
· If you get stuck on a puzzle, take a break and come back to it later. Sometimes it helps to come back with a fresh outlook, especially if you're tired or in a hurry.
· Don't even think about trying a medium difficulty or advanced level puzzle until you're comfortable solving the easy puzzles first, or else you're likely to get discouraged and not want to continue playing Sudoku.
· When playing on paper, some Sudoku players like to write out the remaining numbers needed for a column or row and then cross them out or erase them as each numbers' place is solved. Here's an example: