Slide puzzles are a fun brain teaser, but they can be tricky to solve. Whether you’re stuck on a 3×3 or a 4×4 grid, these tips can help.
Start by drawing a grid to keep track of the order the tiles should go in. Many slide puzzles have numbered tiles, so this is a helpful way to remember the right order to put them in.
1. Look at the grid.
When figuring out the numbers in the 3×3 puzzle, it is important to look at the grid. This will allow you to see all of the possibilities that exist in the area.
This technique is called heuristic search and it is an effective way to eliminate all possible scenarios that involve a specific number. It is similar to subset elimination, except that it involves looking at the entire set of rows and columns in a grid.
If a certain number is possible in a certain set of cells that form the intersection of a grid of n rows and n columns, but not in another set of cells that do not belong to either a row or column, then it must be one of those cells.
2. Think about the numbers.
One of the best ways to conquer any puzzle is to think about the numbers. It can be hard to focus on one area of the grid at a time, so if you can get in the habit of thinking about the numbers and what they mean, you’ll be well on your way to solving a 3×3 speed cube in no time.
A 3×3 puzzle is composed of 81 cells (or boxes) and each cell contains a single number from 1 to 9. So what does a single number actually look like? A good rule of thumb is to try to fill each box in the order of lowest to highest number. Using this strategy will pay off in spades as you’ll never be stuck for the top spot again!
3. Take a break.
While it’s tempting to try to complete the puzzle as quickly as possible, you should take a break from it at least once every hour or so. This allows you to stretch your legs, get a fresh perspective on your work, or just refresh your mind before you start again.
3×3 is a fast, exciting game that mirrors the way streetball is played around the world. It’s easy to learn and is flexible enough to be played by anyone. It can be played indoors or out, and is a great way for organisers to get the sport into iconic locations around the world. The game has been a hit at major multi-sport events, such as the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. The rules are simple and designed to make the game a fun, competitive experience for players of all ages.
4. Focus on one unit at a time.
The 3×3 is a challenging game that requires teamwork and strategic planning. To maximize your chances of winning, focus on one unit at a time and make sure you don’t try to tackle the whole thing at once. If you do that, you will find yourself in a bind when the opposition gets the ball. Be aware of your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to avoid a costly mismatch. The key to a successful 3×3 victory is establishing a solid plan of attack before the buzzer goes off.
5. Remove intersections.
In some cases it may be possible to remove intersections, which is the process of removing numbers that are in the wrong row or column. This is especially helpful when trying to solve a 3×3 puzzle.
The first step is to look at each box in turn and see if there are two or three numbers aligned in the same row or column within a square. If there are, then they must be the only occurrences of that number in all of that row or column and can therefore be removed.
Once you have the first 3 numbers in the first column, just move them up to their correct position and then put the next number (4) in the top right corner (for a 3 columns puzzle, the 4th block, for a 4 columns puzzle the 9th block, etc.). This should only take a few blocks to do and should be easy!