Absolutely Nasty® Sudoku Level 3 Spiral-bound – Mar 1 2007
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Mastering Sudoku Week by Week: 52 Steps to Becoming a Sudoku Wizard (which is actually my favorite), this is a great series to have alongside.
One problem I have with most Sudoku reviews is that they are not specific about what techniques are and are not required, so I will attempt to list here all the ones I've found required in the book and in fact the whole series. Book 1 in the series started relatively easy - about as hard as a typical "hard" puzzle in other books, requiring no more than assiduous application of basic Sudoku techniques (which includes pairs, triples, and quads). Book 2 starts basically the way book 1 left off, but about halfway through adds a number of more advanced techniques.
Book 3 (this book) picks up right where book 2 left off, with an X-wing and XY-wing in the first two puzzles. Needless to say that it's starting off quite well! I will update this review as I get farther through the book.
You will need to know the following types of techniques:
* Elementary techniques (cross-hatching, single cell, single candidate)
* Locked candidate elimination
* Naked pairs, triples, and quads
* X-wings: LOTS of them, some puzzles requiring two different X-wing patterns
* Non-unique (or "Gordonian") rectangles, including some that are beyond the simple ones (see one of the two books above for more explanation)
* XY-wings and XYZ-wings
EDITED: I'm now just past 50 puzzles in the book, and these puzzles included my first legitimate jellyfish (order 4 fishy pattern) and several that require multiple X-wings and non-unique rectangles. Round about puzzle 50, they start requiring multiple advanced techniques per puzzle.
The book is spiral bound, which is very nice. I really like having the cover continue over the binding. Although it would be slightly easier to have it lay flat without the cover there, the space makes a perfect place to store your pencil when you are required to do non-Sudoku activities. Some might dislike the concept of paying for Sudoku books at all - countering that puzzles are available online for free - but I think there's great benefit in having a book you can take with you.
Overall, a great series of books. Start by buying the one that applies to you and get going improving your Sudoku!
I like to think of myself as a sudoku whiz and this book has me humbled. It's difficult but not impossible. It's a matter of patience and logic that will win the day against these absolutely nasty puzzles.
Please purchase this series if you are ready to learn new things and resist the temptation to find an easy way out of a situation. What a metaphor for life! Thank you Frank Longo and Amazon!