Hard Consecutive Sudoku Puzzles

A Consecutive Sudoku puzzle is a variation of the classic Sudoku puzzle. In addition to the standard rules of Sudoku, it incorporates an extra constraint regarding the positioning of consecutive numbers.

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Consecutive Sudoku Rules:

  • Grid Structure: Just like regular Sudoku, it's played on a 9x9 grid divided into nine smaller 3x3 subgrids.
  • Number Placement: Similar to Sudoku, you need to fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 in each row, column, and 3x3 subgrid. There should be no repetitions within these sections.
  • Consecutive Markings: This is where it gets interesting. Adjacent cells (horizontally or vertically) that must contain consecutive numbers (differing by only 1) are marked with a special symbol or shading. For example, a marking might connect cells that should have a 1 and a 2, or a 5 and a 6.

Solving techniques for Consecutive Sudoku involve combining the logic of regular Sudoku with the additional information provided by the consecutive markings. Here are some tips:

  • Start with 1s and 9s: Look for cells marked consecutive with either a 1 or a 9. These only have one possible solution (2 and 8 respectively) which you can fill in right away.
  • Analyze Marked Pairs: Look at each pair of consecutive cells and consider the implications for the surrounding squares. This can help eliminate possibilities in nearby cells.
  • Standard Sudoku Techniques: Don't forget the classic Sudoku solving methods like scanning for missing numbers in rows, columns, and boxes. These are still very applicable here.

Consecutive Sudoku puzzles can be challenging, but they offer a rewarding twist on the original game.