December 30, 2010
Heidi's Sudoku Hintpad
I have just posted Heidi's Sudoku Hintpad, a Chrome Sudoku web app for playing the popular pencil-and-paper puzzle.
This version of Sudoku is inspired by Heidi's favorite way to solve Sudoku: instead of starting by eliminating candidates one square at a time, she loves to speed along looking for digits that can only be placed in one location because they are blocked by the same digit in various rows, columns, or blocks.
Hints, not Answers
The idea of the Sudoku Hintpad is to give you several different types of hints that don't give away the puzzle.
For example, after a mistake it is easy to get lost. You can click "Check" to quickly look for obvious mistakes, and ctrl-Check checks squares against the final answer without revealing the answer. The brower's "back" button can be used to undo as many steps as needed.
If are stuck you can click "Hint" to highlight a few specific squares to mull over. The hintpad will show squares that constrain the puzzle in some way that should allow you to make a deduction. Ctrl-Hint makes the hint more explicit by pointing to squares that should be solvable after you're done thinking.
No Boring Parts
If you think the task of crossing out candidates is boring, there is a "Pencilmarks" button that does it for you automatically. Or do it for one specific square by clicking the "?" on the entry box. Once you have pencilmarks, the "Hint" button can help you find naked sets, hidden sets, x-wing formations, and so on.
The hintpad will supply random Sudoku or load them from Gordon Royale's minimum sudoku collection; or any Sudoku puzzle can be entered directly.
The hintpad is assembled using John Resig's jQuery with Ben Alman's handy BBQ plugin to manage "back" button state. Kimberly Geswein's terrific Covered-By-Your-Grace font provides digits that look just like Heidi's handwriting, and Gordon Royale's Minimum Sudoku Collection provides minimal 17-hint puzzles when you hold control and click "New Puzzle." The app's sources are here, here, and here. From beginning to end (not including jquery and bbq), it is a complete app in about 1900 lines of code.Posted by David at December 30, 2010 07:29 PM
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