## Learn how to solve very hard expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 quickly simple way

Very hard expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 solved simple way using Sudoku solving techniques of Single digit lock, Cycles, triple digit scan and parallel scan.

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**Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26****How to solve very hard expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 simple way by Sudoku solving techniques****Expert Sudoku Solving Techniques and How to Use Special Digit Patterns****.**.**Expert Sudoku solving techniques of single digit scan and triple digit scan****Expert Sudoku Solving Technique of Possible Digit Subset Analysis (DSA) and how to find a naked single.**.**Special digit pattern of Cycle of twins or triplets and how to use it in solving an Expert Sudoku puzzle****Expert Sudoku solving technique of parallel digit scan for a single digit on a row or a column.**.**Single digit lock and how to use it in solving an Expert Sudoku puzzle**

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### Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26

We have found the following Expert Sudoku game 26 very hard to solve. Major Sudoku Solving Techniques including triple digit scan have been used for solving the puzzle. The techniques used are separately explained after the solution, but you must first try your best to solve the puzzle that will enrich your mind.

The Rs are the row labels, Cs are the column labels.

Following is the **solution of the puzzle explained in simple way.**

*Please spend your time fruitfully on the game trying to solve it before going through the solutions.*

### How to Solve Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 Simple Way by Sudoku Solving Techniques Stage 1: Triple digit scan, DSA, Cycles, Naked single

R4C2 5 scan 5 in R5, R6, C1. **Naked single R3C2 2** by **DS reduction** of [3,7,8,9] in the cell from its column DS of [2,3,7,8,9]. **Cycle (3,8)** forms in R1C2, R2C2 by reduction of [7,9] in the major square from column DS [3,7,8,9] -- **Cycle (7,9)** in C2, **Cycle (1,4,5,6)** in rest four cells in top left major square.

Breakthrough naked single R3C8 5 by DS reduction of [1,4,6,9] in the cell from original DS [1,4,5,6,9] in R3 and hence in the cell.

**Triple digit scan for [5,6,9] in R8 on the vacant cells of bottom middle major square creates a Cycle (5,6,9)** in three cells R3C6, R9C6 and R9C5 in the major square. But the real breakthrough comes from DS reduction of [5,6] in C5 from DS [5,6,9] in R9C5 resulting in R9C5 9. **Cycle (4,7,8)** and **Cycle (1,2,3)** formed in R8. **Cycle (5,6)** in R7C6, R9C6. **Short length DSs** in the four empty cells of bottom left major square **formed.**

**Cycle (1,2,3)** and [5,6,9] in C8 reduces row R7 DS [2,5,6,7,8,9] to [7,8] in cell R8C8. This joins in an unexpected **Cycle (2,7,8)** in R7 with a second **Cycle (5,6,9)** in the same row. Lastly, **Cycle (6,9)** forms in R3C9, R7C9 in C9. Every Cycle is valuable as it reduces possible digit subsets in the affected zones.

Status Shown.

### How to Solve Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 Stage 2: DSA, Cycles, Single digit lock

Let us start with long pending R1C3 5 scan 5 in R3, C1, C2.

**Single digit lock on 1** in R3C1, R3C3 creates breakthrough R1C5 1 by scan on 1 in C4, C6, R2, R3. **This is a major breakthrough.**

DS in R3C5 reduces to R3C5 4 by reduction of 1.

R2C2 4 scan 4 in R3. **Cycle (1,6)** in R3C1, R3C3 reduces 6 to produce R3C9 9 -- R7C9 6 -- R7C6 5 -- R7C7 9. R9C6 6 reduction.

R2C5 2 by **DS reduction** of [7,8] in the top middle major square from DS [2,7,8] in C5. DS [3,5,6,9] in top middle major square reduces by [5,9] in R1 to form breakthrough **Cycle (3,6)** in R1C4, R1C6 -- R1C2 8 reduction of 3 -- R2C2 3.

With 6 in R9C6, R1C6 3, R1C4 3. Reduced DS [5,9] in R2C6 is further reduced by 5 in R7C6 to form valid cell R2C6 9 -- R2C4 5 residual. R9C7 5 scan 5 in C8, C9. R2C7 6 scan 6 in C8, C9 -- R2C8 8 residual -- **Cycle (2,7)** in R1C8, R1C9.

Status shown.

### How to Solve Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 Stage 3: DSA, parallel scan, Cycle

With 8 in R2C8, R7C8 7 **DS reduction** -- R1C8 2 -- R1C9 7. R9C1 7 scan 7 in R7, C3 -- R9C3 3 scan 3 in R7.

With 8 in R2C8, R9C8 4 reduction from DS [4,8] -- R9C9 8 residual.

R5C9 4 by **parallel scan for 4 on C9:** R4C9 eliminated by 4 in R4, R8C9 eliminated by **Cycle (4,7,8)** in R8. R6C4 4 scan 4 in R4, R5, C5.

Status shown.

### How to Solve Very Hard Expert Sudoku level 5 game 26 final stage 4: DSA, parallel scan

With 4 in R6C4, R8C4 7 **DS reduction** -- R8C5 8 -- R8C6 4.

R6C5 7 residual in C5 -- R6C2 9 -- R5C2 7.

R5C4 9 scan 9 in R4, C6 -- R4C4 3 residual in C4 -- R4C9 2 -- R8C9 3 -- R8C8 1 -- R8C7 2 -- R5C8 3. R6C1 3 scan 3 in R4, R5, C3.

R6C3 2 by **parallel scan elimination of R6C7 for 2 by 2 in C7** -- R7C7 8.

R7C3 8 -- R7C1 2. R3C7 7 scan 7 in R5 -- R5C7 1 residual in C7 -- R5C3 6 reduction -- R3C3 1 -- R3C1 6. R4C1 1 scan 1 in R5 -- R5C1 8 residual in C1 -- R5C6 2 -- R4C6 8.

**Final solution** shown.

Check for the validity of the solution if you need.

### Expert Sudoku Solving Techniques and How to Use Special Digit Patterns

As a strategy * always try first—the row-column single digit scan to find the valid cell *at any stage, because that is the

**most basic and easiest of all techniques.**

While doing the single digit scan, look out for possible breakthroughs by double digit scan and even triple digit scan. Wherever possible, **Cycles** are formed that in any situation are valuable digit patterns to have and Cycles play a key role in quick solution.

Possible **Digit Subset Analysis** or **DSA** is a general technique that is the basis of finding a unique valid digit for a cell by Reduction, a Cycle or even the valuable digit pattern of a single digit lock. Whenever possible, short length possible digit subsets of 2 or 3 digits are to be formed in vacant cells by DSA.

A **Single digit lock** and an **X wing** are comparatively more powerful digit patterns that usually create important breakthroughs.

The **last resort of filling EACH EMPTY CELL with valid possible digit subsets** by DSA is to be taken when it is absolutely necessary. But,

Strategically for faster solution, it is better to delay this time consuming task as much as possible.

A **basic part of overall strategy** is,

Whether we search for a

breakthrough of a bottleneckor avalid cell identification, our focus usually is on thepromising zones,the zones (row, column or a major square) that contain larger number of filled digits including Cycles.

The main strategy should always be to adopt the easier and faster technique and path to the solution by looking for key patterns all the time. Digit lock, Cycles, Valid cell by DSA are some of the key patterns.

The five Sudoku solving techniques and special digit patterns are explained now.

#### Expert Sudoku solving techniques of single digit scan and triple digit scan

The following is the starting stage for explaining how a **rare major breakthrough by a Triple digit scan** is achieved.

The result of breakthroughs by single digit scan and triple digit scan are shown.

Digit scans are carried out for a single, double or triple set of digits ON THE VACANT CELLS OF A SUITABLE MAJOR SQUARE.

**First condition of a breakthrough by a scan is:** *the digits scanned for must not exist already in the target major square.*

**Second condition of a breakthrough by scan is:** Final number of eligible vacant cells must equal the number of digits scanned for after taking care of eligible cell eliminations by the presence of the digits scanned for in more than one row or column.

As an example of single digit scan for 4 on vacant cells of top middle major square, the major square does not have 4 in it and presence of 4 in R2, R3 and C6 eliminates seven of the eight vacant cells leaving ONLY cell R1C5 for the digit 4. This is an **example of a minor breakthrough R1C5 4 by a single digit scan for 4.**

Now observe that the digits [7,9,4] appear in row R6 in central middle major square as if focusing their attention on the vacant cells of the adjacent right middle major square which by chance do not have any of these three digits. So **the three cells R6C7, R6C8 and R6C9 become ineligible to have any of these digits** *leaving fortunately just three vacant cells in the right middle major square to accommodate the three digits [4,7,9].*

As a result, **Triple digit scan for [4,7,9] in R6 on vacant cells of right middle major square leaves just three vacant cells in the major square** forming first the breakthrough Cycle (4,7,9) in R5C7, R5C9 and R4C9. **Final major breakthrough** comes through presence of digits [4,9] in C7 resulting in **R5C7 7 by DS reduction** from DS [4,7,9] in the cell.

As byproducts, Cycles (4,9) and (1,3,6) (not shown for clarity of observation) are also formed in the right middle major square. Though rare, never let go an opportunity of a breakthrough by a triple digit scan.

#### Expert Sudoku Solving Technique of Possible Digit Subset Analysis (DSA) and how to find a naked single

The following is an initial stage of the Sudoku puzzle solution.

The result of finding a unique valid cell or naked cell by digit subset analysis technique applied on the above game stage shown now.

Digit Subset Analysis or DSA is a concept as well as a technique. By DSA, digits that can occupy a particular cell are identified.

This is an essential and very important function for identifying all other digit patterns possible in a target cell. When no easy unique possible digit in any cell can be identified, the only way to move ahead in solving the puzzle is to carry out DSA for PROMISING CELLS. The simplest type of promising cell is the cell with smallest number of possible digits DS of 2 or 3 digits (not 4 digits at first).

To identify a promising cell, identify first a row, column or major square with maximum number of already occupying digits. In the example above, row R4 is such a row with possible digit subset in the four empty cells [1,2,7,9].

Next, the cell R4C4 is easily identified as a promising cell as, [2,9] in Column C4 affecting the cell REDUCES the possible digit subset or DS for the cell to just [1,7]. Moving ahead, the third cell R4C6 gets DS [1,7,9].

And finally, for the fourth empty cell in the row R4C9, [1,9] in its parent major square and 7 in parent column C9 combine to form [1,7,9] to be reduced from the DS [1,2,7,9]. Result is, **R4C9 2**, a valid unique digit for a cell.

REDUCTION is a fundamental process in solving Sudoku puzzles.

**Naked Single:** By definition, a naked single is a digit that only can occupy a specific cell. If you analyze possible digits in R4C9 ignoring the earlier process of reduction from DS [1,2,7,9] in row R4, you will find only digit 2 can occupy the cell.

You may adopt this process of identifying a naked single **WITHOUT taking help of smaller possible digit subsets in vacant cells**, but this process is easier only occasionally.

#### Special digit pattern of Cycle of twins or triplets and how to use it in solving an Expert Sudoku puzzle

The following is an initial stage of the Sudoku puzzle solution.

The result of a breakthrough unique valid digit by forming 2 digit (twin) and 3 digit (triplet) Cycles is shown.

The digits [1,9] in R6 affect the possible digit subsets or DSs of vacant cells of left middle major square leaving only two cells of the square R4C2, R5C2 for the two digits [1,9]. It is not certain which of these two cells will finally be occupied by 1 or 9 but we can confidently say none other than these two digits are the **only eligible candidates** for occupying these two cells.

Thus a **Cycle (1,9)** is formed in these two cells restricting any other cell in the parent column and major square from having any of these two digits.

If we place 1 in R4C2, automatically R5C2 must have 9 and if we place 9 in R4C2 the cell R5C2 must have 1. Potentially these two digits Cycle between these two cells till their final positions are determined. That is why we can place the DS [1,2] in both the cells blocking any other cell of parent major square and column C2 from having these two digits.

This is a two digit Cycle and is the most frequently occurring one.

The direct positive result is formation of a second Cycle (3,5,7) in the three remaining vacant cells by exactly three remaining digits in the major square. This is a three-digit Cycle debarring all other vacant cells of parent row R6 to have these three digits. Result is formation of a third Cycle (4,8) in R6C5, R6C6 and a unique valid digit 6 in R6C9 as the REDUCED DS [4,6,8] in R6C9 is further reduced by [4,8] in C9 and right middle major square combined.

This breakthrough won't have been possible without the Cycle (3,5,7) in R6.

The main function of a Cycle is to REDUCE the length of possible digit subsets or DSs in affected parent zones and with each DS length reduction, certainty of getting a unique valid cell in the whole set of 81 squares increases.

#### Expert Sudoku solving technique of parallel digit scan for a single digit on a row or a column

The following is an initial stage of the Sudoku puzzle solution.

Result of carrying out parallel scan for digit 2 on the vacant cells of row R8 is shown.

In the relatively empty 81 square puzzle, digit 2 in left bottom major square and right bottom major square debar every vacant cell in the squares from having digit 2. With keen interest we observe, out of six vacant cells in row R8, four cells cannot have digit 2. If we can debar any of the two other remaining cells R8C5, R8C6 from having digit 2, we will get a unique valid digit breakthrough.

This actually happens, as 2 in R1C6 in C6 eliminates the fifth vacant cell R8C6 from having digit 2. We have achieved the breakthrough of unique valid digit 2 in R8C5 as if out of thin air.

In essence, a PARALLEL DIGIT SCAN for digit 2 is done on the empty cells of row R8. Even if digit 2 in R9C3 were in R2C3 or R3C3, the result would have been the same.

A parallel digit scan is done on vacant cells of a row or column (and NOT on vacant cells of a major square). Fortuitous presence of the digit scanned in other cells, all except one cell of the target row or column scanned are debarred from having the digit scanned for. This is an advanced and powerful Sudoku Solving Technique often providing a major unexpected breakthrough.

Observe, you could also have achieved the breakthrough by forming the five-cell long Cycle (1,3,4,6,8) in R8. But that would have been laborious. If you are aware of the possibility, a parallel scan will give you a quick and clean breakthrough.

#### Single digit lock and how to use it in solving an Expert Sudoku puzzle

The following starting position is an advanced stage of the solution. Because of Cycle (1,9) in C2 the DS in C2 is reduced to [2,3,4,5,8] which again is reduced by [2,4,8] in R1 to form DS [3,5] in R1C2 and forms the Cycles (3,5) and (2,4,8) in C2. Important result of these formations is DS [4,8] in R7C2.

The result of forming a single digit lock and breakthrough achieved by the lock is shown.

Shift your attention now to row R8 with DS [1,3,4,6,8] and especially the DSs of cells R8C1 and R8C3. By [1,6] in the parent major square, 8 in C3 and 4 in C1 the DSs in these two cells are reduced to [3,4] and [3,8] respectively. Recall that DS in R7C2 was [4,8]. These three promptly join together to form a breakthrough Cycle (3,4,8) which eliminates any other possibility of digit 3 in the two remaining cells R7C3 and R9C1 in the major square.

The digit 3 is now locked in only two cells R8C1 and R8C3 in R8 and bottom left major square. The two digits are highlighted by larger size and different color. This powerful digit pattern is what we call a **single digit lock.**

As this lock on 3 eliminates possibility of 3 in all other vacant cells of the row R8, especially 3 in DS [1,3] of R8C9, it provides the **breakthrough of R8C9 1**. Now double digit scan for [4,6] in R9, C9 produces Cycle (4,6) in bottom right major square and DS [3,7,9] in R9C7 reduces by [3,9] in C7 to R9C7 7. This is the **second major breakthrough** as it causes easily obtained valid cell chain starting from R5C7 4.

A Single digit lock is a very important digit pattern that may not only provide a major breakthrough but also may join suitably with a second single digit lock to form the more powerful and advanced digit pattern of X wing.

As a rule, while solving a hard Sudoku puzzle, the Cycles and single digit locks are identified and marked for immediate or later use.

*To go through the solution of this Expert Sudoku puzzle once more, click here.*

### More Expert Sudoku puzzles you may like to solve and learn how to solve

The **updated list** of **Solutions to Expert Sudoku **puzzle games:

**How to solve Expert Sudoku puzzle games full list****.**

Expert Sudoku solving strategy and techniques are included in many of the solutions.

*Enjoy solving and learning to solve Expert Sudoku puzzles.*