Google’s resident puzzle genius, Wei-Hwa (he created all the excellent Da Vinci Code puzzles) wrote two posts explaning his “Sledgehammer” method for beating SuDoKu. If you ever needed proof that Google hires people immensely smarter than you or I, this is it.
Post 1 explains the Sledgehammer method, which seems to involve imagining the SuDoKu puzzle as 324 different possible groupings, as opposed to nine numbers. See, if you are able to think about so many possibilities at once, this actually is faster, since you have a set number of possible answers, and are no longer having to think about which number goes with what other number. By examining the premises and conclusions, you can deduce the answers and solve the puzzle far faster.
Of course, to do this you’d have to be capable of visualizing on this level, something few of us could manage. Hence the reason Wei is a “puzzle genius” whereas I am known as a “Mets fan” and “frequent spiller of carbonated beverages”.
If you want to get further into this, Wei’s second post has diagrams, but I hear terms like Venn diagram and decide that I need a hug.