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# Guessing and Puzzle Solving

One of the perennial debates is around what count as valid strategies when it comes to puzzle solving, and what a 'good' puzzle should expect of the solver.

Generally most solvers would expect that a puzzle can be solved without having to guess, ie, that there is a logical method that can be used to solve the puzzle - either based on deducing patterns or logical rules with number/logic puzzles, or by having the relevant knowledge needed - for instance knowing vocabulary when it comes to word puzzles.

Particularly with logic puzzles, many feel that guessing is very undesirable, and that it doesn't really count as a puzzle solving strategy at all. Certainly with Sudoku, if one has to resort to guessing, then this would leave most people frustrated.

However, there are some puzzles where a short amount of lookahead logic might be acceptable, and indeed is often used or even expected. In puzzles such as nurikabe or slitherlink, one must often consider a few moves ahead, and this intelligent 'if this, then that' logic should be distinguished from pure guessing where one just starts writing in options and hoping for the best.

Most mainstream solvers would not expect to have to just guess in the majority of instances, and therefore most puzzles in newspapers are created by the use of logical rules so that guessing is not required to solve them.
Date written: 05 Jun 2013

Category: puzzles | Keywords: puzzles | guessing

### Puzzle Videos: Learn to Solve

How to solve a Sandwich Sudoku
If you know the rules of sandwich sudoku but aren't sure how best to tackle a puzzle, this video walks through a puzzle and how to solve it to get you started. Highly recommended, as it's a really fun puzzle type to solve...

If you've never solved a sandwich sudoku, then a 6x6 puzzle is a good place to start. You can have a go at solving the puzzle featured in the video here: 6x6 Sandwich Sudoku Puzzle Online

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