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Dr Gareth Moore
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Killer Sudoku

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How Puzzlemix works

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The main puzzle menu, viewed by clicking 'Your online puzzles' or 'Play free puzzles', shows all of the daily puzzles currently available on the site. The menu looks like this, with coloured rectangles added to aid the explanation below:

Your Playable Puzzles
There are two basic views, of either the daily puzzles or the fixed sets of puzzles. Click on "View all sets of puzzles" in the pink highlighted area to switch to the puzzle sets view. This will let you choose further which set of puzzles you wish to view - for example, "100 Hanjie Puzzles" or "100 Consecutive Sudoku". From the sets view you can click in the red highlighted area to get back to the daily puzzles view.

There are at least four puzzles published every day on the daily page, some of which are available to all users and others which are only for subscribers. Every puzzlemix user receives free puzzles to play every day or two. The optional daily subscription lasts for a year and provides access to all daily puzzles for the duration of your subscription - just log in and then click here or on the "Get access to all daily puzzles" link in the red rectangle for more details (you'll need to sign up for a free user account first, if you don't have one already). Sets of puzzles, on the other hand, are groups of puzzles which will be permanently added to your account once purchased.

The red and pink highlighted regions also reveal the number of Playable puzzles you have (puzzles you can play immediately), Solved puzzles (puzzles that are both playable and solved), and Available puzzles - this is the current maximum number of playable puzzles in either the daily puzzle or set areas of the site. In the red highlighted area there is also a link to extend your subscription, if you are a subscriber.

Playing puzzles
Just click on a puzzle in the puzzle list, in any of the three columns shown in the dark blue rectangle, and it will pop open in its own resizable player window. Its status in the puzzle list will then change to remind you whether you've tried it before, have a current saved game or have completed it - or even if you've given up on it! The 'State' column shows an appropriate picture for the current state of the puzzle. Scroll down the puzzle menu page for a full key at the bottom of all the symbols on the page.

Some puzzles may be inaccessable to you because you are not a subscriber or have not yet bought a set of puzzles. These are shown faded in grey, as highlighted in the brown rectangle.

The column headings in the green rectangle can be clicked on to sort the puzzles. Pay particular attention to the 'Expires' heading - if you are not a subscriber then your free puzzles will expire two weeks (or on the date shown) after they are published unless you play the puzzle first, in which case it will remain in your account for a year from publication. If you are a daily puzzle subscriber you do not need to do this - all daily puzzles remain playable for the full year and during the duration of your subscription.

Saving puzzles
You can save a puzzle from the player at any point and come back to it whenever you like. You can see which puzzles have saves because the play icon in the 'State' column will turn to an orange 'paused play' symbol.

Statistics and Comments
You can view statistics and comment on puzzles by clicking in the 'Comments' column of the puzzle table, shown in the light blue rectangle. This also allows you to read any existing comments and discuss the puzzles with other Puzzlemix users. It also provides access to much more detailed statistics for each puzzle.

Filtering and sorting your puzzles
To help organise your puzzles there are a range of display options in the left column, shown in the yellow rectangle. Try selecting from these to filter the selection of puzzles shown - you can, for example, choose to see only Sudoku puzzles published in the past month that you have a saved game for. You can also decide how many puzzles you want to see per page. You can move between pages by clicking on the page numbers in the orange rectangle.

You can also sort your puzzles by clicking on any of the headings in the green rectangle. If you click a second time on the same heading then the sort order will reverse, although any non-empty fields will always show before empty fields wherever numerical values are concerned.

Once you alter the filter or sort settings a 'Reset to default view' option also appears in the yellow rectangle.

Other statistics
When you finish a puzzle or give up on it you are given the option of rating the puzzle for difficulty. This rating can then be used to sort your puzzles should you want to play them again, and the average rating can be viewed by other Puzzlemix users to help them choose which puzzles to solve. It's a good idea to rate your puzzles because then other users will also do it and the average ratings are useful in deciding which puzzles to play - it can also be fun to see how your own opinion compares with those of the average puzzle player.

A range of other per-puzzle statistics are also shown in the puzzle list. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see an explanation of the various headings.

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