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## Planet Sudoku

This variant is a consequence of another hobby I used to do involving Astrology. The planetary symbols are called glyphs which I dutifully memorized and matched to the planets and (and asteroids) in our solar system. They are listed above for your convenience. I used the Hamburg Symbols (True Type) Font to produce the glyphs.

Although it is arguable as to whether Pluto can be considered a major planet, I have no wish to diminish its importance to astrological interpretation. Scientists seem to have a consistent track record of saying one thing and subsequently changing or contradicting their original statement. There’s always a reason. I’m just waiting for the next reason (in 2015) to reinstate the planet.

As usual in these kinds of Sudoku variations, each symbol represents one of the non-zero units digits. You can first transcribe it to numbers or further flex your mind and solve it as is.

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## Sudoku Buildings

This variant comes from the 2nd Annual World Sudoku Championship instruction booklet (pdf). This competition was held In Prague earlier this year. The idea is to consider the sudoku puzzle also as heights of buildings as seen from the top down. The total counts on each edge (side) represent how many buildings are viewable from that location. Note that taller buildings (higher numbers) hide shorter buildings (lower numbers). Once again the starting numbers are sparse due to the edge clues.

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## Sudoku Y

Sudoku X has been an alternative to regular Sudoku puzzles, when I wanted some minimal relief. Having a vest pocket pair of constraints when I was otherwise reduced to guessing was nice. The site: easton.me.uk provides a downloadable (Windows) Puzzle Generator for Sudoku X (Nothing on this variant, though).

Because this variation is not one that Sudoku Solvers solve programmatically, I had to reverse engineer the solution by specifying a proper set of values for the Y and then solving by adding one number at a time and insuring that the result did not produce a conflict with the other cells. I stopped when there was a single unique solution. (I used the Web Based: Sudoku Solver By Logic.) I’m not sure if I could have provided fewer clues, but feel free to erase as many as you want and see if you can solve it that way.

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## Sudoku Wraps

This Sudoku variant offers the ability of Blocks of 9 to be non-contiguous as well as non-square on the grid. Other versions of this kind of puzzle do not offer the gift of colorization, but merely the outline of the misshapen blocks. This is reminiscent of the Jigsaw Sudoku Puzzle Cartoon of a month ago, which also offered non-square block shapes, but were contiguous. These variants have also been known as Geometric (or Latin Square) Sudoku by Ed Pegg writing for the Mathematical Association of America.

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## Subset Sudoku

This Sudoku variant supplies the correct triad locations of the numbers of the solved puzzle, but offers far fewer starting numbers. Even so, the puzzle is solvable when considering the subset of candidates that can be in a particular cell.

I found a math site called cut-the-knot.org that shows how you can intersperse only plus or minus signs to the fixed sequence of digits 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 so that the resulting arithmetic expression, when simplified, is 100. It’s both harder and easier than you think! Likewise, the sequence 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 is also considered for expressions results simplifying to 100.  There’s more than one, but not many.

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## Odd Sudoku

I had to skip a week due to superceding short term tasks to complete involving a Linux workshop I conducted last week.

This Sudoku variant supplies the correct odd/even location of the numbers of the solved puzzle, but offers fewer starting numbers. This encourages constraining logic when considering the possibilities of each cell.

A discussion of Odd and Even Numbers is offered in Wikipedia.

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## Sudoku To Kakuro

I’ve been doing Cross-Sum puzzles for many years, but now that it’s called Kakuro (abbreviation of Japanese kasan kurosu: addition cross), it seems somehow new. Certainly the Puzzle book publishers think so. Where there was previously only a section in a crossword puzzle book there is now entire puzzle books devoted to Kakuro.

In solving these kinds of puzzles it may be useful as a solving aid to know about minimum and maximum values for the length of each clue number and a way of dealing with missing and required values in partial sums. One such way is to map missing values to 0 and required values to 1, to get a bit-wise string of bits for which bit-wise logical operations can be performed: and, or, exclusive or, not.

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## Battleship Sudoku

Two games in one: Battleship and Sudoku. There are fewer Sudoku clues and added Battleship clues. Use both sources to solve both objectives. The battleships in the fleet are either horizontal or vertical and are totally non-adjacent to each other. The border numbers show the number of cells in a row or column that are contained on one or more battleships.

This variant stems from the 2007 Sudoku Championship Puzzle Instruction Book (in pdf format)