Solve 18th May NYT hard Sudoku at one step. To begin was not easy, but as game progressed, the game opened up gradually to the complete break-open.

### NYT Hard Sudoku 18th May 2024: One Step Solution

Double digit scan for [1,4] in C7, C8: Cycle (1,4) in C9.

Hidden R9C8 9, Cycle (6,8) in R8. Cycle (6,9) in R7 by double digit scan for [6,9].

Double digit scan for [6,9] in C2, R8, R9: Cycle (6,9) in R1. Cycle (1,4) in R7C5, R7C9 by DS reduction.

Naked single R7C4 5, R7C6 8, R7C2 3.

Single digit lock on 8 in R5: naked singles R5C7 3, R2C7 7. Hidden single R3C8 3, naked single R4C8 2, hidden single R3C7 6.

Naked singles R8C7 8, R8C8 6. Cycle (5,8) in C8, single digit lock on 8 in R5, naked singles R5C8 5, R6C8 8.

Hidden single R3C9 8, Cycle (2,5) in C9. Naked singles R6C9 7, R4C9 9.

Hidden single R6C1 5. Naked singles R4C2 4, hidden single R4C6 7, Cycle (3,6) in R4. Naked singles R5C3 8, R5C2 2.

Cycle (1,4,9) in R5 by triple digit scan for [1,4,9] in R4, R6, naked singles R6C6 2, R6C5 6. Hidden single R9C2 8.

Cycle (1,2,4), Cycle (5,7) in R8, naked single R9C3 4, Cycle (1,2) in C9.

Naked single R3C1 4 by parallel scan for 4 on C1. This is the critical breakthrough.

Solution is a formality with all cells naked singles or hidden singles. Intermediate stage shown for better understanding.

#### NYT Hard Sudoku 18th May 2024: One Step Solution: Intermediate stage

#### NYT Hard Sudoku 18th May 2024: One Step Solution: Final stage

Start with R3C2 1.

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