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Sudoku Solution Path

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Copyright © Kevin Stone

R3C5 can only be <5>
R3C6 can only be <8>
R4C4 can only be <9>
R4C7 can only be <5>
R5C5 can only be <7>
R6C4 can only be <8>
R7C5 can only be <6>
R3C4 can only be <3>
R6C6 can only be <2>
R4C6 can only be <6>
R7C4 can only be <4>
R7C6 can only be <9>
R4C3 can only be <7>
R6C7 can only be <3>
R5C3 can only be <3>
R6C3 can only be <5>
R5C7 can only be <4>
R1C3 can only be <9>
R1C7 can only be <8>
R3C3 is the only square in row 3 that can be <4>
R7C3 is the only square in row 7 that can be <8>
R9C3 is the only square in column 3 that can be <2>
Squares R2C3 and R2C7 in row 2 form a simple locked pair. These 2 squares both contain the 2 possibilities <16>. Since each of the squares must contain one of the possibilities, they can be eliminated from the other squares in the row.
   R2C1 - removing <1> from <135> leaving <35>
Squares R2C7 and R3C8 in block 3 form a simple locked pair. These 2 squares both contain the 2 possibilities <16>. Since each of the squares must contain one of the possibilities, they can be eliminated from the other squares in the block.
   R3C7 - removing <16> from <1269> leaving <29>
Squares R2C1 and R2C9 in row 2 and R8C1 and R8C9 in row 8 form a Simple X-Wing pattern on possibility <3>. All other instances of this possibility in columns 1 and 9 can be removed.
   R7C1 - removing <3> from <1357> leaving <157>
   R7C9 - removing <3> from <235> leaving <25>
Squares R1C2 and R1C8 in row 1 and R9C2 and R9C8 in row 9 form a Simple X-Wing pattern on possibility <5>. All other instances of this possibility in columns 2 and 8 can be removed.
   R7C2 - removing <5> from <357> leaving <37>
   R7C8 - removing <5> from <135> leaving <13>
Squares R2C3 and R2C7 in row 2 and R8C3 and R8C7 in row 8 form a Simple X-Wing pattern on possibility <6>. All other instances of this possibility in columns 3 and 7 can be removed.
   R9C7 - removing <6> from <67> leaving <7>
Squares R8C1 (XY), R3C1 (XZ) and R7C2 (YZ) form an XY-Wing pattern on <7>. All squares that are buddies of both the XZ and YZ squares cannot be <7>.
   R7C1 - removing <7> from <157> leaving <15>
   R3C2 - removing <7> from <67> leaving <6>
R3C8 can only be <1>
R9C2 can only be <5>
R2C3 can only be <1>
R3C1 can only be <7>
R7C8 can only be <3>
R2C7 can only be <6>
R7C2 can only be <7>
R1C8 can only be <5>
R8C9 can only be <9>
R3C9 can only be <2>
R9C8 can only be <6>
R1C2 can only be <3>
R7C1 can only be <1>
R8C7 can only be <1>
R2C1 can only be <5>
R2C9 can only be <3>
R8C3 can only be <6>
R3C7 can only be <9>
R7C9 can only be <5>
R7C7 can only be <2>
R8C1 can only be <3>

[Puzzle Code = Sudoku-20191117-SuperHard-334720]

 

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