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The Universal Sudoku Player

 
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Børge
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: The Universal Sudoku Player Reply with quote

The Universal Sudoku Player


Since I like to solve Sudokus, especially larger ones with many interconnected 9x9 Sudokus without having to use paper and pencil, I have for many months now been programming a "universal" Sudoku helper called "The Universal Sudoku Player" (TUSP). (So far I have spent approx 1.500 hours coding some 35.000 lines of code including blank lines and too few comments.) I hope to have the first release finished in a couple of months and I will give it away for free.

Unlike other helpers you see the COMPLETE grid. If it is bigger than your monitor screen you have to scroll.

Too give you some ideas of the look and feel of TUSP, I have uploaded a number of screen shots and TUSP related files here: http://cid-c136798e52d0119c.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/tusp%20info


TUSP is Excel based, but you see virtually nothing of Excel. It currently supports 55 different Gattai/Sudoku types. To be precise, 27 different types plus their X equivalents and a large gattai 267 Sudoku (267 interconnected 9x9 Sudokus). If your favourite Sudoku type in not supported and you want it to be, please let me know.

If a Sudoku has disjoint 9x9 grids (Clueless Special, Clueless Explosion, Clueless-Shaolin-X, etc.), a merged version of these grids are additionally shown as normal 9x9 grids.

TUSP can solve Naked and Hidden Singles and has 5 filters and many nice visual aids. All filters affect all cells in the grid(s) where the cell marker currently is.

HIGHLIGHT:
Highlights cells containing a certain value. Either both pencil-marks and solutions, or only pencil-marks, or only solutions.

SHOW:
Highlights cells with a certain number of pencil-marks. Supports Singles through Nonuplets and any combination of them. Is useful for finding XY and XYZ Wings, XY Chains, Remote Pairs and BUGs.

TAG:
Highlights cells whose pencil marks are equal to or a subset of the set designated by the pushed buttons. Great for finding Naked Sets, XY and XYZ Wings, XY Chains and Remote Pairs.
Example: The buttons 3, 6 and 8 are pushed. Cells having all its pencil marks in one of the sets (3), (6), (8), (3,6), (3,8), (6,8) or (3,6,8) are selected.

X-RAY FOR:
Highlights cells that have at least one pencil mark in the set designated by the pushed buttons. Is mainly for finding Hidden Sets.
Example: The buttons 3, 6 and 8 are pushed. Cells having at least one of the pencil marks 3, 6 and/or 8 are selected.

ZERO IN ON:
Highlight cells having all pencil-marks in the set designated by the pushed buttons. Useful for finding Unique Rectangles and Hidden Sets.
Example: The buttons 2 and 8 are pushed. Cells having minimum both the pencil marks 2 and 8 are selected.


For toggling pencil marks, entering solutions and clues, setting user colours and marks TUSP supports multiple cell selection using standard Excel multiple cell selection, i.e. by clicking (and dragging) with either the SHIFT or CTRL key pressed. Multiple windows with the same or different Sudoku worksheets are also supported.

You can do tings either using the regular pull down menus, the right-click short cut menu, the Toolbar or by pressing keys on the keyboard. The keyboard is completely controlled by TUSP. If you for instance want to paste in a Sudoku code you can either push:
ALT-D/d followed by the O/o key OR
Just the D/d key followed by the O/o key OR
Only CTRL+V.

A Sudoku code can be imported using copy and paste directly from for instance www.sudocue.net. Accepts Ruud’s format or “.” for empty cells. The code for a single 9x9 grid can be exported in various formats.

Setting for instance the user colour Green can be done using the menus or by pressing the G/g key.

In none-Clue mode pencil marks can be toggled using the menus or any of the normal keyboard digit keys (not the numeric keypad digit keys). Solutions are entered using the numeric keypad digit keys or any of the normal keyboard digit keys SHIFTED. In Clue mode any of the numeric keypad digit keys or any of the normal keyboard digit keys shifted or unshifted enter a clue.

There is no difference between solving a Sudoku in one or many sessions. You can save a Sudoku workbook and turn of your computer. When you open a Sudoku workbook again EVERYTHING is exactly as you left it. ABSOLUTE EVERYTHING is saved including filter status, all user coloured cells, all coloured pencil-marks, the complete undo-redo list, the position of the Status Window, the position and layout of the Toolbar, etc, etc.


If there are any questions, and there likely will be, I will be more than happy to answer them. But it may take a couple of days, even a week before I can post an answer. As most humans I have many everyday tasks to attend to and the next weeks I will be busier than usual and a great deal away without a permanent Internet connection.
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jsmif
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 17
Location: brooklyn

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Børge, this is extremely impressive. I tried to develop something along these lines myself, but I found that it was significantly beyond my VBA skills. I'll be the first in line to sing your praises if you come up with something you're willing to share!
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JLynn
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Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 52
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will be looking forward to actually playing with the software. I have to wonder, though, has anyone actually MADE an 8-ring puzzle as you have described? That thing is frelling HUGE!
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Børge
Master
Master


Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jsmif wrote:
Børge, this is extremely impressive. I tried to develop something along these lines myself, but I found that it was significantly beyond my VBA skills. I'll be the first in line to sing your praises if you come up with something you're willing to share!
Well, this is virtually my first VBA program. Before this I had only written a couple of small macros(<100 lines). Over they years I have had to learn so many new programming languages, that learning a new one now goes pretty fast. When finished I'll give TUSP away for free.

JLynn wrote:
I have to wonder, though, has anyone actually MADE an 8-ring puzzle as you have described? That thing is frelling HUGE!
I cannot imagine that anyone has actually made an 8-ring puzzle. Perhaps Ruud is up to the task. I'll actually made it just for fun and for showing off. Cool

Last edited by Børge on Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Børge
Master
Master


Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my original post I forgot to mention the following:

The first version of TUSP will ONLY work with Excel 2002 and Excel 2003. Support for older Excel versions is virtually impossible, since I use features not present in them. Support for Excel 2007 is possible, but a lot of work.
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