Dr. Sudoku Prescribes #6 – TomTom

HardHard TomTom by Thomas Snyder


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: “Rhyming clues” – almost all clues here in this TomTom are presented with identical neighbors.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules. Range is 1-8.

Answer String: Enter the 8th row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 8th column from top to bottom.

Time Standard: TomTom Master = 12:00, Expert = 36:00, Novice = 2:00:00

Solution: PDF and solving video.

Editorial note: If this is the third TomTom you’ve ever seen (just trying to solve these puzzles this week), please do not attempt it. Go through a couple of my earlier examples in the “Thomas Snyder Outdoes the NYT KenKen” series instead. This is a very difficult “Saturday” puzzle in line with the hardest content of my old blog. Next week I’ll return with much easier puzzles in two new styles on Monday/Tuesday.

  • nehsb says:

    Hmm, I actually found this easier than #4 (which I thought was quite hard.) The doubles on the side weren’t so hard to work with, while with #4 the parity considerations seemed much trickier to me. I didn’t keep track of concrete times though.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      This does fall to more “normal” steps, so perhaps may be larger and not by kind-of-step harder for many solvers. But for the size and complexity it definitely took a majority of my testers over 20 minutes.

      • Deanna says:

        I’m actually going to agree, I thought this was easier than the 1/3/13 one overall, I never felt stumped for a next step, it just took a while to logic everything out (about half an hour for me). It was a good one though!

  • Farfarawayfan says:

    Dear Dr.Sudoku, I think I have been infected with “why I still getting wrong solution” disease while I’m doing this one. Can you cure me please? I have been suffering more than 2 hours and I am really need the solution.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I do intend to post some solutions eventually, but not on the first day the puzzle is out. If you email me at the address you’ve used before I can maybe confirm/deny some of the progress you’ve made to this point when I next have some time.

  • hagriddler says:

    For the first 6 puzzles this is my favorite !

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      Thanks! I think my personal favorites were some of the earlier sudoku but I got some really excellent TomTom puzzles in this week and Saturday’s is alongside my best in that genre.

  • skynet says:

    hi motris..i took ur advice and did not attempt this tom tom …may be should try later after getting accustomed slowly to ur tom tom puzzles…seeing the expert time 36mins!!scared the hell out of me not to mention the novice time of 2hrs!!!

    • Para says:

      I think it’s no different than timings that appear in newspapers for hard puzzles. Basically it’s an indicator for the average solver to not get discouraged when you don’t instantly get it and instead to just sit down for it and slowly try to work through it.

      • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

        Yes, maybe something like that. After a few more weeks the sense of “Monday” and “Saturday” will be a little clearer I hope, but I think rough time estimates are intended to make sure a solver has the right expectation of time, and feels rewarded when they have a good day and solve well, or a good year and progressively approve average time result.

  • tamz29 says:

    Fluked it in just under 12 minutes.
    Systematic guessing > logic.

  • muhorka says:

    In this one, I sometimes had to used so strange deductions, that I don´t believe, that they could exist 😀

  • Well, I was definitely north of 36 minutes, but I think I was south of 120. I ended up running a lot of block possibilities crossed with other block possibilities which I’m typically reluctant to do. But, in the end, it was running the possibilities on the right side that led to the final break through for me.

  • FoxFireX says:

    I hope you’ll consider giving this one the same treatment you gave TomTom #4. I managed to struggle through that one, being a relative TomTom novice, but despite your warning i’ve been continuing to periodically bang my head against this one. (I’ve managed to place four numbers!) I’d love to see what the expected solution path looks like so maybe I’ll have half a chance of feeling mildly successful next time you toss one of these at us.

  • This is the only puzzle left unsolved for me. I don’t want to resort to guessing, as it strikes me as inelegant. Any chance of putting this in the weekly recap?

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      It may be easiest to do a personalized reply to you based on where you are at. Can you send a scan of your grid progress so far (use the drsudoku@gmpuzzles.com email)? I can maybe tell you a section to look at as a gentle nudge, or a specific next step as a harder one.

  • Carl W says:

    Maybe I’m getting better at TomTom, or more careful? Usually on a TomTom this large/hard I would break it at least once. But fortunately, this solution came together without any problem like that.

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