It is possible to set starting grids with more than one solution and to set grids with no solution, but such are not considered proper Sudoku puzzles; as in most other pure-logic puzzles, a unique solution is expected.

Building a Sudoku puzzle by hand can be performed efficiently by pre-determining the locations of the givens and assigning them values only as needed to make deductive progress. Such an undefined given can be assumed to not hold any particular value as long as it is given a different value before construction is completed; the solver will be able to make the same deductions stemming from such assumptions, as at that point the given is very much defined as something else. This technique gives the constructor greater control over the flow of puzzle solving, leading the solver along the same path the compiler used in building the puzzle. (This technique is adaptable to composing puzzles other than Sudoku as well.) Great caution is required, however, as failing to recognize where a number can be logically deduced at any point in construction-regardless of how tortuous that logic may be-can result in an unsolvable puzzle when defining a future given contradicts what has already been built. Building a Sudoku with symmetrical givens is a simple matter of placing the undefined givens in a symmetrical pattern to begin with.

It is commonly believed that Dell Number Place puzzles are computer-generated; they typically have over 30 givens placed in an apparently random scatter, some of which can possibly be deduced from other givens. They also have no authoring credits - that is, the name of the constructor is not printed with any puzzle. Wei-Hwa Huang claims that he was commissioned by Dell to write a Number Place puzzle generator in the winter of 2000; prior to that, he was told, the puzzles were hand-made. The puzzle generator was written with Visual C++, and although it had options to generate a more Japanese-style puzzle, with symmetry constraints and fewer numbers, Dell opted not to use those features, at least not until their recent publication of Sudoku-only magazines.

Nikoli Sudoku are hand-constructed, with the author being credited; the givens are always found in a symmetrical pattern. Dell Number Place Challenger puzzles also list authors . The Sudoku puzzles printed in most UK newspapers are apparently computer-generated but employ symmetrical givens; The Guardian licenses and publishes Nikoli-constructed Sudoku puzzles, though it does not include credits. The Guardian famously claimed that because they were hand-constructed, their puzzles would contain "imperceptible witticisms" that would be very unlikely in computer-generated Sudoku. The challenge to Sudoku programmers is teaching a program how to build clever puzzles, such that they may be indistinguishable from those constructed by humans; Wayne Gould required six years of tweaking his popular program before he believed he achieved that level.


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