### WSC Playoff Puzzle 10/10: Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

The final puzzle for the World Sudoku Championship playoffs is a tricky classic Sudoku with a trophy theme by Thomas Snyder. It was designed to have a narrow solving path at the sticking point, although speed solvers might choose to “bifurcate” to go faster as happened in the competition.

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Theme: Trophy

Author/Opus: This is the 457th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More Sudoku including variations can be found in these books in our e-store.

### WSC Playoff Puzzle 6/10: Sudoku by Akash Doulani

The sixth puzzle for the World Sudoku Championship playoffs is another classic Sudoku with a diamond theme by Akash Doulani.

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Theme: Diamond

Author/Opus: This is the 15th puzzle from guest contributor Akash Doulani.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More Sudoku including variations can be found in these books in our e-store.

### WSC Playoff Puzzle 1/10: Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

This week we are sharing the 10 puzzles that decided the World Sudoku Championship this year. The first puzzle was a classic Sudoku with a ’23 theme and a split of even/odd digits.

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Theme: ’23 (Even and Odd)

Author/Opus: This is the 453rd puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More Sudoku including variations can be found in these books in our e-store.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the playoffs for the Sudoku Grand Prix that were held in Kraków, Poland in late 2022. Unlike last year’s World Sudoku Championship, which had no “Classic” Sudoku selected for the final playoffs, the Sudoku Grand Prix had three different classic sudoku among the eight total puzzles including one of mine. While my GP competition set had all used an “eight” theme, I did not repeat that at all here for my playoff puzzle options. My main goal in constructing this was to make a top-level “Snyder Sudoku” — as one of the competitors would call it — where (spoiler for hidden theme and solving path) the very first step is the hardest step. In this case, there is single special pattern to observe in the mostly full rows/columns that will eventually force a number in the center box. The top solve of this puzzle was achieved by Timothy Doyle of France (amazingly in 93 seconds) with several other solves in the 2-3 minute range.]

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Theme: Blossom

Author/Opus: This is the 444th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 3 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 US Sudoku Grand Prix round. This puzzle is the last of three classic Sudoku that did not have a visual theme, however (spoiler for hidden theme and solving path) the digit eight is still a key part of the theme. This is a “just one cell” type Sudoku, one of my trademarks, where the first move is very limited and I’m 99% sure your first digit placement will be an eight in box 8 even if you’ll find it by thinking of other numbers first.]

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Theme: Hidden Theme

Author/Opus: This is the 435th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 3 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 US Sudoku Grand Prix round. This puzzle is the second of three classic Sudoku that did not have a visual theme, however (spoiler for hidden theme and solving path) the digit eight is still a key part of the theme, one of three isolated digits in their rows/columns that are part of several X-wing patterns in the grid; in this case the eight is not as key initially as the other numbers but it still highlights a way to look at the grid and make progress.]

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Theme: Hidden Theme

Author/Opus: This is the 434th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 3 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 US Sudoku Grand Prix round. This puzzle is the first of three classic Sudoku that did not have a visual theme, however (spoiler for hidden theme and solving path) the digit eight is still a key part of the theme, one of a pair of digits that sets up a lot of pointing pairs in the grid at the start. You can get the center number — an eight — by following just the one number through four symmetric pointing pairs.]

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Theme: Hidden Theme

Author/Opus: This is the 433rd puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 US Sudoku Grand Prix round. This puzzle continues the “eight” theming by combining a visual theme (two clear eights in the grid) with an unusual parity-based split of the digits that sets up different kinds of deductions to get odds on the right side of the grid and evens on the left side.]

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Theme: Odd and Even

Author/Opus: This is the 432nd puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 US Sudoku Grand Prix round written entirely by me. This puzzle demonstrates another visual approach to an “eight” theme. While there are no 8s in the grid, all the givens appear in clear two by four block groups which is a pattern that sets up some nice if easy geometric deductions.]

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Theme: Two by Fours

Author/Opus: This is the 431st puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

### Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

[This puzzle comes from the 2022 Sudoku Grand Prix round written by me, which was the eighth round that ran in early August including 8/8. The round used a theme of “eight” across all the puzzles. This easy classic Sudoku has a strong visual theme with just three given digits, two eights in the corners and a big “eight” made out of other numbers only.]

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Theme: Three Eights

Author/Opus: This is the 430th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in our e-store, including in The Art of Sudoku, The Art of Sudoku 2 and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.