Although it has been in existence in Japan for a long time, Sudoku is a relatively new and great way of pastime. It challenges and at the same time offers the mind hours of amusement. Now, if you think Sudoku is fun, you may even have more fun creating your own games using a blank Sudoku grid. Making one could be tricky but if you succeed, you’ll come to appreciate the art more.
Blank Sudoku Grids
How to play Sudoku?
Before making your own game using a blank Sudoku grid, you must know how to play the game. To start a game, you always have to look for the easy opportunities to write down a number on the Sudoku grid. The easiest ones are the most crowded areas or those on rows or columns that are almost filled with numbers.
You can use the elimination process in figuring out where to write a number on a Sudoku template. For instance, a 3 x 3 square already contains numbers 1 to 7. You now have to think about where you will write 8 and 9. Often, you can remove one of the numbers then just fill the gaps. Here are more tips to consider when grappling with a Sudoku game:
- Search for the missing numbers
Sudoku is a game where you place numbers in places where they don’t already exist. It involves a logical elimination process. If a certain number is already in a square or row, this means that you can’t place this number again.
The greatest challenge of the game is to keep on looking for and thinking about opportunities to place numbers in the squares where they belong. The trick is to look at the rows and check if you can spot any of the missing numbers.
- Don’t make guesses
There’s always a solution in a Sudoku grid, so there’s no need for guesswork. It’s better to leave a space vacant for the meantime if you’re not sure what number belongs there.
- Keep going
Sudoku loves those with “roving eyes,” or those players who prefer not to get stuck or concentrate too much on just one side of the grid. Instead, you should move along and allow your eyes and mind to wander to different places on the Sudoku template which are still blank. You might see new possibilities there that weren’t apparent to you before.
- Keep on re-evaluating
Each time you write a number on the blank Sudoku puzzle, you should evaluate how that number has changed the setting. For instance, you successfully placed the number 5 on a spot in the horizontal row. Does this placement have an effect on what will go on in the nearby squares?
Remember that each correct move yields opportunities to write more numbers in the nearby squares and rows. To many Sudoku players, this is the most satisfying aspect of the game where every correct placement gets you closer to the game’s solution.
Sudoku is truly a fun game and more importantly, a game that’s intellectually-stimulating since it exercises that part of the brain which deals with a natural progression, logic, and order leading to a conclusion that makes you feel satisfied. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll always find something to love and appreciate about Sudoku.
Printable Sudoku Grids
Creating a blank Sudoku grid
If you want to create your own game, all you need is a blank Sudoku grid. This is easy to make. But plotting the numbers requires more thought. Here are some steps to consider when creating your own blank Sudoku puzzle:
- Gather the materials
You need the materials to create the Sudoku template manually. You need a ruler, a pencil, a sheet of blank paper, and a marker. Use a pencil when making the draft so you can still erase any errors. The ruler, of course, allows you to create an even grid.
- Draw the main square
Use the ruler and pencil to do this. For this Sudoku grid sample, let’s set the square’s dimensions at 5″ x 5″. The size varies so you can make it smaller or larger. In case you opt for a standard sized puzzle, you can trace one from a Sudoku book.
- Divide main the square into a grid
Again, use a pencil as you divide the main square into smaller squares. Make the lines separating these squares bold and make sure that these lines are very straight.
- Divide each of the squares into smaller grids
With the ruler and pencil, draw lines which are equally-spaced down and across each square. You can use a blank Sudoku puzzle for reference. Once done, you should have a completed blank Sudoku grid.
- Trace the lines using a marker
This makes the lines permanent and so they won’t get erased should you need to make corrections when solving the puzzle. Using a marker, make the lines bolder and thicker. The lines of the smaller squares should be very thin and light so use a pen to draw these instead.
- Copy your blank Sudoku grid
Make sure you make several copies of this blank template so you won’t have to redo the process.
- Print the template
Making your own Sudoku template could be quite taxing, especially if you have difficulty drawing straight lines. You can make your life simpler by printing a blank template online.
How to create Sudoku puzzles using a blank Sudoku grid?
After the blank Sudoku grid, it’s time to create the puzzle itself. Here are some steps to guide you:
Creating the puzzle
- Start by filling in the complete solution
Start with a pencil when creating the solution to your puzzle. You will work with the numbers from 1 – 9. Work on each to ensure you come out with a valid solution. Keep the rules of the game in mind or you’ll have a messy solution.
- Familiarize yourself with the rules of the game
The player should fill the grid with numbers so that each column and row contain numbers 1 – 9. Each of the 3×3 boxes should also contain the numbers 1 – 9. With these rules in mind, here are some tips on how to make your puzzle:
Start by filling in number 1 in each of the 3×3 boxes, in each column, and in each row.
Move to the next number, 2. Do the same placing this number in every row, column and 3×3 box. Make sure that you don’t double up with the numbers.
Continue with the numbers consecutively until you reach 9. The more numbers you fill, the easier it becomes because the number of spaces decreases.
- Backtrack if you find yourself stuck
It can get very frustrating if you encounter a problem when making the solution to your Sudoku puzzle. You can end up in a situation where you can only fill up a column or a row with a duplicate number. In case this happens, just backtrack, erase some of the numbers and start with that section all over again.
- Double-check the solution
Always check for any duplicate numbers as this is the only bane to a correct solution. Check each row, column, and 3×3 block to make sure that there are no duplicate sand that each contains the numbers from 1 to 9. You can also make use of a Sudoku solver which you can access online. Barring no errors, you can now put the finishing touches to your puzzle.
Finishing the puzzle
After the form and the solution, you can now start putting the finishing touches to your Sudoku template:
- Start removing the numbers
When you’re sure that you have an error-free solution, start erasing numbers using a pencil eraser. Begin by erasing a number from each of the 3×3 squares, columns, and rows. The more numbers you erase, the greater will be the puzzle’s level of difficulty.
Don’t erase too abruptly, just lightly so you can still recover your clues in case you want to make any changes. Also, don’t forget to make a copy of the solution to serve as a reference.
- Check the puzzle to ensure that it’s solvable
For every number that you erase, try working through the whole puzzle so there should always be a solution. The player should be able to make use of the available clues so he can fill in the blanks. Also, make sure that there are sufficient clues for blank areas. Should you find the emerging puzzle too difficult, change some of the clues you erased and erase other numbers.
- Erase the numbers completely
When you’re done with erasing clues, go over each blank square with an eraser. If you don’t do this, the player may see the number which was originally written there. After that, use a marker to trace all of the numbers in the filled in squares to make them permanent.
- Makes copies of the puzzle and share it
To ensure that you won’t repeat the tedious process of making the finished puzzle, make duplicate copies of it. Then share these with your family and friends. Don’t forget to get feedback regarding the puzzle’s difficulty. Hopefully, your effort becomes successful so you can make more Sudoku templates!